Quick Facts about Increasing Coverage

  • Alabama’s Medicaid eligibility is very restrictive, only covering adults (and only those with children) up to 12 percent of the federal poverty level, an annual amount of about $1,600 for a family of two and $2,300 for a family of four.
     
  • The Affordable Care Act allows states to increase the number of individuals eligible for Medicaid up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, about $15,000 a year for individuals and $31,000 annually for a family of four.  It does not include an expansion of benefits.
     
  • It's anticipated that about 300,000 Alabamians would enroll in an expanded Medicaid program if given the opportunity.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, three out of five of those eligible for coverage are employed.
     
  • The federal government would pay 100 percent of the expansion cost for the first three years, reducing the amount to 90 percent in 2020 and thereafter.  According to an economic impact study by researchers at the UAB School of Public Health, the additional taxes generated from the federal influx of dollars would more than cover the state’s cost of expansion.
     
  • There are tremendous economic benefits of expansion over six years*:
    • Overall increase in business activity of $28 billion.
      • Includes impact to state’s Gross Domestic Product of $17 billion
      • Includes worker earnings of $10 billion
    • Creation of approximately 30,000 new jobs, including the following industries:
      • 11,290 jobs in health care and social assistance
      • 6,390 jobs in retail trade
      • 5,490 jobs in professional, scientific and technical services
      • 1,423 jobs in administrative and other support services
      • 1,247 jobs in accommodation and food service
      • 1,095 jobs in the finance and insurance industry. 
         
  • If we don’t expand Medicaid, 191,000 Alabamians could be caught in a gap:
    • Subsidies for purchasing coverage on the health insurance exchange begin at 100 percent of the federal poverty level.  Therefore, individuals who aren’t eligible for Medicaid, but who make less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level, won’t even be able to obtain subsidies to buy coverage.
    • Alabamians between 100 and 133 percent of the federal poverty level would be eligible for federal subsidies to purchase coverage, but would likely not be able to afford it.
       
  • If we don’t expand Medicaid, $12 billion in federal funds (our tax dollars) will go to provide health care in other states.