Posted on January 16, 2014 at 8:29 PM
Thursday, Jan 16 at 8:31 PM
NORFOLK -- The effort to fill the Medicaid coverage gap is getting a lot attention before the General Assembly in Richmond these days.
The gap looks like this: 30% of the poverty line or below qualifies you for Medicaid, while 138% of the poverty line qualifies you for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Those who fall in between those lines qualify for nothing.
That's the gap that Governor Terry McAuliffe says is costing the state millions a day.
"Everyday that goes by we are forfeiting $5 million dollars of our Virginia taxpayer money that is going to 25 other states. Those states that I'm competeing with everyday to bring business here, they're going to have lower healthcare costs because they're using Virginia tax payer dollars," McAuliffe said.
The Virginia Association of Hospitals projects Bon Secours, Cheseapeake Regional Medical Center, Riverside and Sentara to be millions of dollars in debt by 2015 due to ACA cuts.
But if the decision is made to expand Medicaid to about 250,000 uninsured people, the profits would be noticeable in respect to this revenue stream.
“Many Virginians are paying the extra taxes to help fund this expansion, yet 400,000 of our fellow citizens are being denied the coverage that would have been provided, and our hospitals are paying a significant financial price,”said Chief Financial Officer of Sentara Healthcare Robert Broermann.
Some hospitals have already begun the process of laying people off, one hospital even closing because they couldn't afford staying open without that revenue stream.