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Parnell says he won’t expand Medicaid

By KTVA CBS 11 News 7:22 PM November 15, 2013

Alaska DHSS commissioned The Lewin Group to look into economic impacts of expansion

ANCHORAGE – Gov. Sean Parnell announced today that he won’t support an expansion of Medicaid at this time. Instead, he says he’ll work to reform Alaska’s Medicaid system.

The state-commissioned report on Medicaid expansion, released in April, reached his desk just two weeks ago, he said from his Anchorage office.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) commissioned the Lewin Group to look into the possible economic impacts of expansion.

According to the Lewin report, if Alaska decided not to expand Medicaid, it would cost the state about $40 million from 2014 to 2020 and approximately 19,900 people “will remain uninsured who would have otherwise gained coverage under Medicaid expansion,” the report stated.

The Affordable Care Act contains provisions that affect the state’s Medicaid program regardless of changes made to the current program. They include: “reforming the individual insurance markets by eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions, guaranteeing coverage and renewability of coverage, establishing Health Benefit Exchanges (HBEs), an individual mandate, subsidizing health insurance for people between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), and a mandate for large employers to offer health insurance,” the report said.

If the state decided to expand Medicaid to all adults below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, Medicaid spending would increase from about $200 million to about $300 million from 2014 to 2020. However, the expansion would yield federal funding between about $2 billion to $3.7 billion over the same period.

Click here to view the full report.

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