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Today, the White House Council of Economic Advisers released estimates of the health and economic benefits if Utah decides to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

As Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Jason Furman wrote, the report “leaves no doubt that the consequences of States’ decisions are far-reaching, with major implications for the health of their citizens and their economies.”

Utah’s decisions to expand Medicaid would have major health benefits for its low-income citizens, including:

The report also finds that Utah’s decision to expand Medicaid would generate important economic benefits:

“The administration is willing to work with any state interested in expanding Medicaid, said Vikki Wachino Acting Director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services. “We are committed to supporting state flexibility and working with states on innovative solutions that expand Medicaid to low-income individuals in accordance with the law’s goals and consumer protections, while securing quality, affordable health coverage and growing a state’s economy.”

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, states have new opportunities to expand Medicaid coverage to individuals with family incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level (generally $32,253 for a family of four in 2015). Health care costs for people made newly eligible through the Medicaid expansion is paid forwith 100 percent federal funds in calendar years 2014‐2016, 95 percent in calendar year 2017, 94 percent in calendar year 2018, 93 percent in calendar year 2019, and 90 percent in calendar years 2020 and beyond.

A separate report released today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that 12.2 million additional Americans nationwide, including 7,171 people in Utah, now have affordable health coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in March 2015compared to before the start of the first Marketplace open enrollment period in October 2013.  This monthly report also shows a state by state breakdown in enrollment increases as of March 2015.

To date, 28 states plus DC have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. However, 22 States—including many of the States that would benefit most—have not yet seized this opportunity (although Montana has passed legislation to expand Medicaid and is working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to implement its expansion). Researchers at the Urban Institute estimate that, if these States do not change course, 4.3 million of their citizens will be deprived of health insurance coverage in 2016.

The full CEA report provides a detailed discussion of the evidence and methodology used to produce these estimates and State-by-State tables breaking down these and other consequences of Medicaid expansion. It is available for download here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/medicaidmissedopportunities2015_final_v3.pdf

The monthly HHS report on state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) data is available here:  http://medicaid.gov/medicaid-chip-program-information/program-information/medicaid-and-chip-enrollment-data/medicaid-and-chip-application-eligibility-determination-and-enrollment-data.html