A recent report finds rural Medicaid at a disadvantage.
With Monday of this week being the deadline for applying for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and because Wyoming did not accept federal funding, the Wyoming News Service reports that thousands of people have fallen into what's being called the “Medicaid gap.”
John Bailey, who's the director of rural policy for the Center for Rural Affairs, did some research into who is affected and found that rural states were less likely to accept the federal money.
He said those who fall into the gap will not be fined for not signing up for coverage. Nationwide, Bailey found that 1.8 million rural and small-town people fall into the coverage gap in states that have rejected Medicaid funding.
Another note that Bailey finds interesting is that the percentage affected by the Medicaid gap is about the same as those who found out their insurance policies would be canceled because they didn’t comply with federal law. Only that situation had a very different ending after what Bailey calls "constant media coverage."
Additional Medicaid funding was part of the Affordable Care Act. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling made it optional for states to accept the funding. Just over half have accepted it – with Arkansas and Arizona being among the latest.