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Nebraska Medicaid expansion now includes full benefit pool for all

Lincoln & Hastings-Krny KOLN logo Lincoln & Hastings-Krny KOLN 10/1/2021 Ellis Wiltsey
Nebraska medicaid expansion now includes full benefit pool for all © Provided by Lincoln & Hastings-Krny KOLN Nebraska medicaid expansion now includes full benefit pool for all

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - On Friday one of the final steps in rolling out Medicaid expansion in Nebraska officially started.

It was first passed by voters back in 2018 but hit delays along the way.

Now the program is offering full benefits for anybody who’s enrolled, doing away with certain work requirements.

If you’re already enrolled in Medicaid officials said that change will happen automatically, but there are still tens of thousands of eligible Nebraskans who haven’t enrolled.

When it was first rolled out by the state, Medicaid was available in two tiers. Now everyone will get all benefits.

“That includes dental and vision and over-the-counter drug coverage,” said Sarah Maresh, the Health Care Access Program Director for Nebraska Appleseed.

Nebraskans were able to start enrolling for the expansion in August of 2020. The most recent data from Medicaid.gov has total enrollment through April 2021. Between that time more than 50,000 new Nebraskans have been approved for the program.

“To see the numbers increase for enrollment since we know there are a lot of people that are eligible out there that have not enrolled is encouraging,” Maresh said.

Eligibility requirements in Nebraska are people 19 to 64. With an income of up to $17,774 for a single person and $36,570 for a family of four.

“Lawmakers estimated 90,000 are eligible so we still have folks out there that are not aware or may not be enrolled,” Maresh said.

Nebraska Appleseed said during the pandemic some people’s newfound access to healthcare has been life-changing.

“Seen how important it is not only for ourselves to be healthy and our friends and our family to be healthy,” Maresh said. “But how a healthy Nebraska and healthy Nebraskans really help our whole community.”

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