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Medicaid Graduates


A Medicaid Success Story...

Medicaid Helps Utahn Become Financially Independent

Clarissa was born with a series of medical conditions so severe that when they manifested at age 19 she qualified for federal disability assistance.  “Despite all the health challenges I have faced, I have always been determined to live a full life and become a productive member of my community,” says Clarissa. Qualifying for the state’s Medicaid program opened the doors she needed to be sClarissa Blackmeruccessful. 

Prescription drug coverage helped her afford the necessary medications.  She was supposed to be in a wheelchair by age 30.  Thanks to physical therapy, Clarissa is still walking at age 32.  Physical therapy also helped her regain the use of her wrist after an intensive surgery.  Successfully managing her health allowed her to work part-time, go to school full-time and volunteer regularly.   

Without access to Medicaid, I never would have been able to go to school.  Without my bachelor’s degree, I never would have been hired at my job, which has full health benefits.”  Clarissa is now privately insured through her employer.  She works full-time, goes to school full-time for a Master’s Degree and is completing an internship.  “Medicaid helped me when I needed it most: now I’m living a full and amazing life,” explains Clarissa. 


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act strengthens and supports Medicaid

As illustrated in Clarissa’s story, Medicaid delivers quality, medically necessary care at the right price for all payers—including the taxpayer.  It is also a powerful economic driver for our state.  The Patient and Affordable Care Act strengthens Medicaid by the following:

  • Expands Medicaid to include 133 percent of federal poverty level which is $29,327 for a family of four.
  • Requires states to expand Medicaid to include childless adults starting in 2014.
  • Federal Government pays 100 percent of costs for covering newly eligible individuals through 2016.
  • Illegal immigrants are not eligible for Medicaid.

The State can take the initiative and strengthen Medicaid further by:

Maximizing cost containment measured within Medicaid, such as strengthening the Preferred Drug List and making sure the state’s Medicaid fraud prevention programs.