5:10 PM ET Thu, 6 Jan 2019 18:17:49 As the deadline approaches for states to get Medicaid expansion, some are scrambling to find ways to help low-income residents without the federal government’s help.
The new administration announced Friday it will expand Medicaid in 19 states and the District of Columbia, and a separate federal effort is seeking to expand Medicaid coverage to more people.
The Trump administration is expected to announce that more than 3 million people will receive coverage by the end of the year.
Some states have already started filling out forms for their Medicaid expansions.
But the state of Maryland has been holding off on filing the applications until the deadline.
“It’s just not appropriate for us to rush these applications,” said Mary Ann Stryk, the commissioner of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
“There’s so many things we can do in the process, we need to focus on those things that will be most beneficial to people.”
The deadline for submitting applications is Thursday.
The White House has said that any states that choose to extend their Medicaid programs could be eligible for a federal grant.
Some Republican governors have said they will not sign up to the federal expansion, and the Trump administration has repeatedly pushed back against that position.
The states will be able to sign up for Medicaid through the expansion only if they don’t have a single-payer system, as some states have done.
They will also have to meet certain criteria, including offering coverage to low- and moderate-income people, as well as reducing the number of uninsured.
Some Democrats are also pressing states to expand their Medicaid program.
“We are not going to wait for the federal Government to do the right thing,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
“As the nation struggles to find solutions to the most pressing problems of our time, we should not let an irresponsible executive branch ram through plans that will leave the most vulnerable people of our country in the dust.”
The Trump Administration announced Friday that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will give states more time to implement the Medicaid expansion and also increase the number and type of providers participating in the expansion.
The expansion, known as the Affordable Care Act, is meant to expand coverage to millions of low- to moderate-level, uninsured people.
In addition to the states that are expanding Medicaid, the federal program will also be expanded to cover low-level Medicaid recipients in the District, Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa.
Those states and territories will receive up to a $1 billion federal grant that will help cover the costs of expanding Medicaid.
The president has said the expansion will also cover people who have health insurance through the individual market and Medicare.
The federal government has not yet said how much the money will be used to expand the Medicaid program, but the administration has said it will help states pay for it.
The state of Oregon is among those that is struggling with the lack of coverage, as are a handful of other states.
The Obama administration set up the Medicaid Expansion as a way to help people in the most dire economic times.
But Medicaid is only available to people with incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
States that choose not to expand can continue to apply for a waiver from that requirement.
The waiver process for the expansion can take months.
The administration also said Friday that it is working with states to help them expand the state health insurance program, known in the program as COBRA.
States must still expand Medicaid by Jan. 31, but it is expected that they will receive a waiver.
The Medicaid expansion is not tied to the health care law and is designed to expand health coverage to those who can’t get it elsewhere, including the uninsured.