This is a guest blog by Enroll Nebraska intern Michael Linngren.
Over the past six years, Enroll Nebraska has worked to help enroll as many Nebraskans as possible in health coverage via the Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicaid programs. Through our network, local enrollment assisters connect people with resources necessary to pursue enrollment and provide support throughout the enrollment process.
Over the same six years, Nebraska enrollment assisters unfortunately have had to turn away countless clients who didn’t meet the minimum income to buy coverage through the Marketplace or meet the very tough requirements to qualify for Medicaid in Nebraska. These people fall into what is known as the “coverage gap,” and they often go without the important health care we all need.
Currently, 90,000 Nebraskans fall into this gap, and 33 other states have taken actions to resolve this issue by expanding Medicaid, an option available through the ACA, which is still available for us in the November election through Initiative 427.
From an enrollment assister’s perspective, this is an easy choice. Imagine a client calling them with the excitement of hearing about a new program that could finally provide health insurance coverage where they couldn’t get it before. It’s the lifeline needed for so many families. Then imagine the crushing blow of being told you don’t qualify because you don’t make ENOUGH money to get assistance. As it stands, the system is unfair, and unnecessarily so for, for too many hard-working Nebraskans.
That’s not even to mention the economic benefits of expanding Medicaid like increased federal funding for critical access hospitals, new jobs, and increased economic activity in local economies.
On November 6, a vote FOR Initiative 427 will expand Medicaid coverage to 90,000 Nebraskans who can’t afford health insurance. After getting far more signatures than required to qualify an initiative, including signatures from all 93 Nebraska counties, it is up to the voters of Nebraska to vote “For” Medicaid Expansion.