“Private Option” Is More Expensive Than Medicaid Expansion

Amy Worden reports that Tom Corbett cares more about dogma than costs:

Under a proposal in the Arkansas legislature, those who would qualify for Medicaid expansion – those with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty level, or $15,415 for an individual – would be able to buy private insurance through marketplace exchanges that would be subsidized by the federal Medicaid dollars. The federal law mandates exchanges in every state but intended them for those with higher incomes.

Antoinette Kraus, director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, which advocated for the law, said she has concerns about the state taking the private insurance route because on average private coverage costs more, especially for previously uninsured working poor who may be at higher risk.

A report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office last year supported that contention, finding that private insurance would cost more than traditional Medicaid.

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