State leaders discuss how to educate public on expanded Medicaid

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healthcare310x177SEATTLE — Federal and state leaders met Wednesday with representatives from more than 100 local healthcare organizations to discuss how to educate Washington residents on expanded Medicaid coverage options slated to take affect Oct. 1.

The expanded health Medicaid program, called Coverage is Here, is part of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Leaders were hoping to figure out how to best educate the public about the new laws.

The expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will provide coverage for adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level — $15,856 for an individual or $26,951 for a family of three — said Dorothy Teeter, director of the Health Care Authority. The expansion will cover a wider array of individuals, Teeter said, with as many as 300,000 new clients added to Medicaid nationwide.

Local organizations, representatives from hospitals, local health clinics and other health officials met with government leaders on how to best share the new strategy with potential users. Participants in the conference also viewed a demo of the new Washington Healplanfinder, where people will enroll and learn if they qualify for cost-sharing subsidies. For more information on the Coverage is Here program, click here.

Inslee said the new healthcare program will save the state an estimated $280 million by the end of 2015, and potentially add as much as 10,000 new jobs.

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