When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was first passed, it contained a requirement that all states must expand their Medicaid programs to include anyone making up to 133% of the federal poverty guidelines. However, after the Supreme Court ruled on the law, states are now capable of opting out of this expansion. Recently, Mississippi became the first such state to do so, even though a recent report from a professional group of actuaries states that choosing not to expand Medicaid could be detrimental for those on private healthcare plans.
A report from the American Academy of Actuaries, entitled “Implications of Medicaid Expansion Decisions on Private Coverage,” details how states that opt-out of Medicaid expansion could cause the cost of private health care premiums to increase in their state. Because of the health differences between those on Medicaid in states without the expanded coverage and those in states that choose to expand, those on private plans may end up paying more. Also, employers in states without the expanded Medicaid coverage may end up paying additional costs in penalties.
The American Academy of Actuaries is a nonpartisan group composed of more than 17,000 professional members. In addition to establishing professional standards and qualification criteria for actuaries around the nation, the Academy also provides information and analysis about actuarial topics to the public and policymakers.