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    Final rule released for Medicaid improvements under ACA

    The final rule for Medicaid eligibility in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will ensure health coverage for millions of Americans, according to Friday's announcement by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

    “The Medicaid improvements in the Affordable Care Act will help simplify the system and ensure all Americans have the affordable high-quality coverage they need,” Secretary Sebelius said in a statement.

    Starting in 2014 through the ACA, Medicaid will be available for people between ages 19 and 64 with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level, which is currently $14,856 for an individual and $30,656 for a family of 4. The federal government will be responsible for 100% of the cost of the Medicaid expansion for the first 3 years and then 90% starting in 2017. Individuals will receive coverage through state health insurance exchanges.

    “Insuring more Americans will decrease the hidden tax states and consumers with insurance pay to cover the cost of caring for the uninsured,” said Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

    The final rule will make it easier for people to enroll in the Medicaid program and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by using state health insurance exchanges, the government said. Individuals will be able to apply for health coverage through a single, online application.

    The rule will help to modernize the eligibility, enrollment, and renewal processes in Medicaid and CHIP. For more information, go to the government’s website.

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