HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Millions of Americans who enrolled in Medicaid during the Covid-19 pandemic are at risk of losing their coverage this April.
Alabama did not expand its Medicaid package which means many people who are low-income will be dropped from the program.
According to a new report, over one million Medicaid-insured people are Alabamians.
When covid-19 first struck in 2020 a bipartisan agreement between lawmakers allowed for more low-income families and individuals to get health insurance through the Medicaid system.
A new spending bill passed by Congress in December of last year will begin removing some of those recipients.
“Alabama is still one of eleven states that have not expanded Medicaid and that is really putting our state behind where we need to be,” said Mary Elizabeth Marr, CEO of Thrive Alabama.
To date, Alabama lawmakers have not accepted federal funding to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, more widely known as Obamacare.
Marr told News 19 that a lack of affordable coverage means some Alabamians have limited access to basic health care.
“What happens now is individuals who do not have a payer source end up in our emergency rooms of our not-for-profit hospitals and that costs so much more than an individual going to a primary care physician like Thrive Alabama,” she said. “We need Medicaid expansion to help us take care of people who are in desperate need of health care.”
Under the new spending bill, an individual’s change in income level will be checked to see if they are still eligible for Medicaid coverage. If not, they will be notified that their coverage is being dropped by the month of April.
According to Marr, around fifteen percent of Thrive Alabama’s patients are on Medicaid. In order to qualify for Medicaid in Alabama, a family must earn less than fifteen thousand dollars a year.