In July 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the nation’s new health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) by treating the individual mandate that would have required coverage for all Americans as a tax. However, Medicaid expansion was left up to the states. Here are ten reasons why Medicaid expansion is good for working women and families.
10 Reasons why Georgia Needs Medicaid Expansion
1. Medicaid expansion would help working parents with children. The ACA extends Medicaid coverage to parents of children up to 133% of the poverty level (or $25,322/year for a family of four). Children are more likely to be insured if their parents are insured, more likely to stay enrolled if the parents are enrolled, and more likely to receive preventative care and screenings.
2. Expansion would include giving coverage to single women without children who are up to 133% of the poverty line (making $12,338/year). Women access the healthcare system more often because of reproductive needs, chronic conditions and longer lifespans, making access to healthcare important.
3. Women will be able to choose their reproductive healthcare providers. This will allow women to go back to providers that know them and with whom the women are already comfortable.
4. Medicaid expansion will increase coverage for family planning services and supplies. In addition, preventative care and maternity services will be covered along with all categories of benefits being offered in state insurance exchanges. The rate of unintended pregnancy may go down and the ability to be pregnant and access quality care may increase.
5. Much of the cost-burden of healthcare will be eliminated because cost-sharing protections will be in place. Premiums, deductibles, and copays will be limited to make it easier for working individuals – especially women – to attain coverage and access essential healthcare services.
6. Medicaid expansion will further benefit women living with HIV/AIDS. Will ensure women and other individuals with earlier entry for treatment, therefore alleviating stress and promoting better health and wellness. Women will be able to receive a more reliable and affordable health insurance which will give them the medical attention that they deserve. Ultimately, this will also benefit the economy for the expansion will help people with HIV/AIDS live longer and keep them in the workforce.
7. Women will be able to have healthier pregnancies. Due to lack of insurance, there is a high percentage of infant mortality, delayed prenatal care, and complicated deliveries. With the expansion, women will receive maternity and newborn care as well as preventive and wellness service.
8. Lower gender-based disparities. Women are more likely to develop chronic conditions than men. The Medicaid expansion will help women receive early diagnosis care, treatment for chronic conditions and access to preventive and mental health services.
9. “Due Process” protection benefits. Medicaid expansion can be denied, reduced, or terminated but individuals will receive a notice beforehand explaining the decision and opportunity for review prior to the decision going into effect. Women whose income fluctuate and needs medical attention for ongoing chronic conditions will benefit from this protection.
10. Increased access to transportation. Transportation is already provided to individuals on Medicaid, but with the expansion, people living in rural areas or in areas where specialists are scarce will be further covered. For women, this is a great advantage regarding their reproductive health. There is a lack of geographical access to reproductive health providers because these providers are limited. With the expansion, women will receive better reproductive healthcare.