Thousands locally to be impacted by new state Medicaid policy

Just over 57% of Knox residents are on Medicaid. According to data just released by Kentucky Health News, (KHN), a service of the UK institute for rural journalism, 18,204 Knox County citizens appear on the Medicaid roles as of June this year, and the rules for that program are expected to change soon. 

Gov. Matt Bevin, facing tight state budgets, proposed changing Medicaid in Kentucky. His administration requested a waiver from federal rules last year. Recent comments just last week by senior policy makers in the Trump administration, in principle, supported those changes.

Kentucky’s new plan will require more than 5,486 in Knox County who are covered under expansion of the “Obama care” program to work or volunteer 20 hours a week to keep their coverage. However, exceptions will be made for the “medically frail” or those who are primary caregivers. The plan would also require those covered to begin paying small Medicaid premiums each month of $1.00 per person up to $15.00 per family depending on income. Children, the disabled and pregnant women would not have to pay.

If the new plan is approved, the state estimates that 95,000 fewer Kentuckians will be on Medicaid in five years than if the proposal is not accepted. KHN also cites estimates showing the state and federal government would save $2.4 billion over the next five years under the new plan.