Under the terms of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the number of Americans eligible to receive Medicaid coverage is set to increase by at least 16 million when the new eligibility requirements take effect on January 1, 2014.
The previous regulations stated that only low income families with children, elderly patients and those with disabilities were eligible to receive Medicaid coverage. The new requirements expand the number of eligible recipients by basing eligibility requirements on income levels. The requirements state that anyone with the yearly income of up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level can receive Medicaid coverage. This includes those who are working yet to do not earn enough to meet the minimum poverty level. For an individual, this means you must make about $15,000 or less, while for family of four you must have a household income of less than about $30,650.
However, the Supreme Court is currently hearing a case challenging the constitutionality of the health care law. Filed by the Attorneys General of 26 states, the challenge states that the law is not constitutional and should not be implemented. Whether the court will agree with this argument and reverse the entire law, or portions of it, will only be known once the court issues its final ruling later this summer. Until then, those who stand to become eligible for Medicaid under the expanded eligibility criteria will have to wait to know the court’s final decision.