The group Voices for Utah children released a study this week that shows how Governor Gary Herbert’s Medicaid expansion plan could help working families.
The study shows that a third of state residents who would be eligible for the Healthy Utah plan are parents with dependent children. Lincoln Nehring is the organization’s Senior Health Policy Analyst. Nehring says this study challenges common misconceptions.
“One of the misnomers about the Healthy Utah Plan is the idea that it just benefits single, childless adults. In reality of those who would benefit from the healthy Utah plan are parents with dependent children in the home. And what’s more interesting is the majority of these parents are working,” says Nehring
The study concludes that 98 percent of these households have at least one working parent. Derek Monson is the Director of Public Policy at the Sutherland Institute. He says health coverage for working families is a good thing but he’s worried about what will happen to those who are currently on Medicaid.
“People in Healthy Utah who have better insurance will be prioritized and those doctors and hospitals will be forced to delay healthcare appointments for people on Medicaid or simply not treat them at all because they have to meet a bottom line in order to really help people,” says Monson
Lawmakers in the Utah Legislature are still deciding whether or not they will support the governor’s plan. One bill being considered in the Senate supports the plan. Another piece legislation filed in the same chamber would expand Medicaid only to those who are considered medically frail.