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Medicaid Opt-Out Could Cost Hospitals

As states continue to grapple with funding Medicaid and deciding whether or not to implement the Medicaid expansion as outlined in the Affordable Care Act, a new article in Forbes shows how choosing not to expand the program could lead to hospitals paying billions more in expenses.

The National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems recently analyzed the potential impact of Medicaid in states that choose not to expand the program. According to the report, public hospitals in states that don’t expand Medicaid could end up footing a $50 billion bill for uncompensated care by 2019.

So far, Mississippi has been the only state to officially opt-out of the Medicaid expansion and the accompanying federal dollars to pay for it. Governors from other states, such as Florida and Texas, have expressed their desire not to participate in the expansion, even though it appears that a majority of states will expand Medicaid.

In anticipation of the growth in Medicaid coverage, many healthcare companies have begun expanding their businesses to gain a larger portion of the government paid Medicaid program.

It’s estimated that the 30 million Americans without healthcare insurance will be covered by the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act if all states chose to adopt it. Since 2010, when the law was passed, the number of uninsured Americans that might be covered under Medicaid has jumped from between 6 to 10 million, according to estimates.

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