How is ACA impacting Alabama’s uninsured?

Birmingham Business Journal, Jan. 6, 2013

Nearly 200,000 uninsured Alabamians are eligible for premium tax credits to help them buy coverage on the health insurance marketplace, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The nonprofit health policy organization published individual reports Monday about how the Affordable Care Act affects coverage in all 50 states. According to the data, Alabama has 660,000 uninsured non-elderly people.

Kaiser's report on Alabama includes figures on who in the state is eligible for Medicaid, the Child Health Insurance Program and tax credits. The report also shows the number of Alabamians who fall in the coverage gap, an area for people who earn too little to qualify for tax credits but too much for Medicaid.

Of the 660,000 uninsured Alabamians, 30 percent are eligible for tax credits, while 29 percent fall into the coverage gap. Another 16 percent of the state's uninsured are either Medicaid eligible adults or Medicaid/CHIP eligible children.

The state could have more Medicaid eligible adults, but Alabama's decision so far to not take part in the expansion of the program keeps enrollment at 16 percent of the federal poverty level, the report said. Sixteen percent of the federal poverty level equates to an annual income of $3,829 for a family of four.

Alabama children's eligibility for Medicaid/CHIP, however, is much higher than adults at 317 percent, or about $74,700 for a family four, the report said. As nearly all states not expanding Medicaid, Alabama's non-disabled and childless adults are not eligible for Medicaid.

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