If all US States had participated in the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) Medicaid expansion, 95% of uninsured African Americans may have qualified for financial assistance for healthcare coverage.
According to a new report, released today, from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, 6 out of 10 (4.2 million) uninsured African Americans may be eligible for Medicaid, the federal Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or tax credits to help with the cost of premiums.
“The health care law is working to address long standing disparities in health care coverage and improve the health of the African American community,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said in a statment. “Through the Health Insurance Marketplace, 6.8 million uninsured African Americans have new options for affordable health coverage that covers a range of benefits, including important preventive services with no out of pocket costs.“
The report broke down a few examples of what premiums could look like for Black Americans living in major metro areas.
Given population trends, it is no surprise that 1/5th of uninsured African Americans live in Atlanta, New York city, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Detroit.
A 27-year-old from Atlanta, GA who makes $25,000 could pay just $105 a month for a bronze plan after applying the tax credit, while a family of four with an income of about $50K could be looking at only $148 per month for a bronze plan after applying the tax credit.
And that’s about half of the African American population, the other half, about 2 million probably would qualify for coverage through Medicaid or CHIP.
Obamacare permitted states to expand Medicaid coverage to include Americans with family incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty level (generally $31,322 for a family of four in 2013).
Before, only certain children with certain illnesses, the elderly and disabled could get Medicaid,but Obamacare expands it to include adults, even those without children.
That part of the expansive healthcare overhaul is how the extra 2.2 million African Americans with family incomes below 100% of the federal poverty levels would have been covered…had their states decided to expand medicaid.
But they didn’t. Not all states opted in to expand coverage. That means, instead of 95% of African Americans covered, just 60% are.
Well, look at that! This new data compound available statistics which show that a disproportionate amount of poor who live in 26 states controlled by the party that wants to dismantle the program would benefit if those states chose to expand Medicaid to cover their poor.
For more information on how the Affordable Healthcare Act works, check out this below video which reminds me of the School House Rock shorts from the 70s and 80s. The YouToons do a wonderful job explaining the law.