The program would cover the same set of uninsured low-income residents as other Medicaid expansions — those who make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Those recipients would pay somewhere between $3 and $25 a month into the personal accounts. Federal or state Medicaid dollars would supplement those accounts, up to $2,500.
The committee rejected a proposal Mead endorsed earlier this month that would have set up two tiers for Medicaid recipients. Under Mead’s plan, crafted by the Wyoming Health Department, all participants would have made co-payments, and those with higher incomes would have paid monthly premiums of $25 to $50. Participants would have access to employment assistance programs, such as job search services and vocational rehabilitation programs.
Mead’s plan failed on a 7-7 vote.
Mead and state health officials negotiated the deal with the federal Department of Health and Human Services, but the state will have to go back to HHS to win a waiver for the new program.
Any Medicaid expansion covering those who make up to 138 percent of the federal poverty limit — $16,104 for an individual or $32,197 for a family of four — would cover an estimated 17,600 people in Wyoming.
Mead was among the governors who sued the federal government over the Affordable Care Act. But after the law survived a challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court, he said he would work within its confines to craft the best option for Wyoming.
“We have to deal with the real world,” Mead said in a recent interview, before the interim committee acted this week. “I’m not open to the alternative, [that] we’re not going to do anything.”