According to a study released yesterday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicaid changes from the Affordable Care Act could cost Wyoming $204 million by 2022 while feds could dump $1.5 billion into a state expansion. That represents a 4.1 percent spike in state funding to Medicaid and a 24.2 percent change in federal funding.
Under the ACA, states that undergo the optional Medicaid expansion will have full federal funding from 2014 to 2016, after which it will phase down to 90 percent funding of the expansion by 2020. Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has expressed concerns that even the 10 percent could be a lot for the state to bear. Kaiser's numbers
seem in line with state projections.
"If Wyoming expands Medicaid, our best estimate is that the state's share of additional Medicaid healthcare costs due to expansion will total $131 million for state fiscal years 2014-2020," a state Medicaid study
shows. However, that is a best guess in a range of $53 million to $311 million over that same period due to "considerable uncertainty.
Rep. Keith Gingery has said the optional expansion could draw in as many as 30,000 Wyoming residents, expanding the program by a full third and placing more than one in five residents on Medicaid
. The state has volleyed ideas like a sales tax rate increase to cover the expansion, though it hasn't committed at this point.
Kaiser minimizes the cost of the expansion as a small budget increase compared to current spending.
"Our findings suggest that, by implementing the Medicaid expansion with other provisions of the ACA, states could significantly reduce the number of uninsured," the study states. "Overall state costs of implementing the Medicaid expansion would be modest compared to non-ACA Medicaid spending and relative to increases in federal funds."
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