Have you ever heard of the Medicaid coverage gap? It’s a relatively new social issue that has been popping up in states that rejected the Medicaid expansion that was written into the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The gap causes problems for low-income individuals who want to get insurance to pay for their healthcare, but it also has side effects that can cause problems for thousands of people with disabilities. Despite knowing this, the government of Oklahoma is continuing to block the expansion of Medicaid in our state, and now Oklahomans with disabilities are starting to feel the sting of the state’s mistakes.
Is The Oklahoma Government Blocking Your Disability Benefits?
The ACA Medicaid expansion includes nonelderly adults that make 138 percent of the federal poverty level or lower. The ACA established the Health Insurance Marketplaces where people can purchase insurance, and people who make between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level can get federal tax credits to help pay for that insurance. People below the federal poverty rate cannot receive these marketplace subsidies. The ACA Medicaid expansion covers people below the poverty line by qualifying them for Medicaid instead of ACA insurance, but Oklahoma rejected this expansion.
How Does Blocking The Medicaid Expansion Hurt Your Benefits?
Due to various political reasons, our government has rejected the ACA expansion of Medicaid, which means that anyone under the federal poverty line who can’t get Medicaid in Oklahoma also won’t be able to get a Marketplace health plan. That means your only hope for medical coverage is to get automatic Medicaid approval through obtaining Social Security Disability benefits, but getting those benefits without medical records on your disability is almost impossible.
Without ACA coverage or Medicaid, people can’t get the medical records they need to get Social Security benefits, which leaves Oklahomans with disabilities in a catch-22 scenario. When you consider that our state has also cut disability programs due to budget shortfalls, then many of our friends and neighbors just won’t have the resources to survive.
The situation for Oklahomans with disabilities is only getting worse, and our politicians don’t seem to care. Speak up for you neighbors, family and friends who may be suffering from this miscarriage of justice.
Contact your local government official, and let your voice be heard—A reminder from your Tulsa disability attorneys at Troutman & Troutman.