Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Introduce Medicaid Expansion Bill

Senator John McCollister (R) and 16 co-sponsors introduced a bill (LB 1032) requiring the State Department of Health and Human Services to submit a waiver to CMS to expand Medicaid by purchasing qualified health plans (QHPs) on the Marketplace. The legislation would enroll the majority of expansion adults into QHPs, excluding the medically frail and those with cost-effective employer sponsored insurance (ESI), for whom an ESI premium assistance program is proposed. Most enrollees with incomes greater than 50% of the federal poverty level would be required to pay a premium of 2% of their income and unemployed enrollees would be referred to a newly-proposed employment program. Three previous Medicaid expansion proposals have failed in Nebraska and some Republican legislators have already voiced their opposition to this bill. It is estimated Medicaid expansion would cover an additional 77,000 Nebraskans.