To: Legislative Fiscal Analyst Office Dropbox,
Subject: Testimony for the Health Reform Task Force 10-6-15
Date: Wed Oct 07 03:53:34 MDT 2015
October 6, 2015
Public testimony for the Health Reform Task Force
Thank you to the “Gang of Six” and the Utah Legislature for continuing to work on proposals to expand the Medicaid program and provide health insurance for people caught in the coverage gap.
I want to point out some positive aspects of the Utah Access+ proposal for people with disabilities:
1. Utah Access+ is Pro Life. Early detection and treatment can prevent premature death.
2. Utah Access+ has the potential to reduce gun violence and suicides through mental health services
3. Utah Access+ allows individuals to earn up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and be eligible for either private health insurance or if appropriate traditional Medicaid services.
4. Of the newly eligible adults with incomes from 0-138% FPL
- 15% are not working because they are disabled*
- 31% are not in the labor market because they are “taking care of home/family.”*Many low income caregivers lack health insurance because employment outside the home is not an option. They are often the primary caretaker for their family member with disability.
5. Utah Access+ has the potential to reduce the Waiting List maintained by the Division of Services for People with Disabilities for those individuals who are income eligible and only need access to traditional Medicaid services.
I urge you to continue to work on the Utah Access+ proposal.
Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities
*A report byNorman J. Waitzman, PhD., et. al. “Who would be newly eligible for coverage under the Healthy Utah Plan or full Medicaid expansion? A demographic and labor market profile.” July 2014.