Utah lawmakers approve modest Medicaid expansion: 6 things to know

Utah lawmakers have approved a compromise bill that expands Medicaid to a portion of residents in the state, according to a Salt Lake Tribune report.

Here are six things to know about the legislation.

1. The bill, HB437, will extend healthcare to about 16,000 people, far fewer than the 125,000 or more who would have been served under previous Medicaid expansion proposals.

2. House Majority Leader Jim Dunnigan (R-Taylorsville) said the bill targets the chronically homeless, the mentally ill and those recently released from prison — and they will be guaranteed Medicaid coverage for at least a year as they work to obtain jobs and get on solid ground, according to the report.

3. Adults with children will be covered if they have incomes close to 55 percent of the poverty level, according to Rep. Dunnigan. It is currently up to about 40 percent.

4. The plan would cost the state $30 million and use $70 million in federal funds, according to the report. Utah hospitals have agreed to pay $13.5 million of the state's share.

5. The bill is expected to be signed by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R).

6. In addition to the governor's signature, the bill would still require federal waivers, and calls for state officials to seek them, according to the report.

 

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