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Medicaid Graduates

A Medicaid Success Story...
Medicaid Provides Critical Coverage for Utah Families

In 2004, Jana and her husband Kyle were going to school full-time at Weber State University while working part-time.  They were so excited when they found out they were expecting their first child!  Uninsured when she got pregnant, Jana was thankful when she qualified for Medicaid.    


When their son Tanner was born, he was life-flighted to Primary Children’s Medical Center with a serious heart condition. He stayed in the newborn intensive care unit for several days before he was ready to go home with his family. Following 8 months of weekly doctor visits and monthly specialist visits, Tanner was finally strong enough to undergo open heart surgery.  Again, he stayed in the thoracic intensive care unit for several days and needed numerous follow-up visits from specialists and his regular doctor.

All in all, we were only enrolled in Medicaid for less than a year, but I’m so grateful we had that coverage.  The enormous cost of Tanner’s medical care would have bankrupted us and kept us from becoming the financial independent family we are today,” says Jana.  Today Tanner is a healthy 4-year-old boy.  The entire family is now insured through Kyle’s job with the IRS. 


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act strengthens and supports Medicaid

As demonstrated in Jana and Kyle’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 are as strong as possible.

Preventing cost-shifting by considering new revenue sources.  Keeping Medicaid whole will prevent expensive cost-shifting to our small businesses and other purchasers of private insurance.  To avoid this, Utah should increase the tobacco tax rate by $2 and use part of the state’s rainy day fund to maintain current Medicaid eligibility and provider reimbursement rates.

Reform the health care payment and delivery system—starting with Medicaid.