As enrollment continues for the new federal healthcare law, there is one group that will not be able to take advantage of the discounts in Mississippi nor Alabama. The U.S. Supreme Court previously ruled that under the healthcare law states cannot be forced to expand their medicaid program. Lawmakers in Mississippi and Alabama have not expanded the program. Because of this Jim Carnes with the non-profit group, Alabama Arise, says some people on medicaid in the twin states will not qualify for certain discounts.
"People who earn less than 100% of the federal poverty level in Alabama, and that includes everybody who earns minimum wage and other low wage workers, would have qualified for their coverage under an expanded medicaid, but because the Alabama's governor has not excepted medicaid expansion, they are left out in the cold," says Carnes. "They will not qualify for the discounts that are available to people of higher incomes in the new marketplace."
Carnes says the new Affordable Healthcare Law was designed to use medicaid expansion in states to eliminate premium costs for recipients, and for people with higher wages to utilize the new federal marketplace for coverage. Enrollment in the new healthcare marketplace is going on now. It will continue through March 31, 2014. Coverage for people enrolled in the marketplace will start January 1, 2014.