Health Care – Week 4

By Kim Jones, Coordinator Health Care for All-WV

What is the Medicaid or Benefit Cliff and how does it affect the workforce in WV?

Today workers who rely on Medicaid face an unintended negative consequence of moving up the economic ladder. When workers have an opportunity to earn a higher income that would put them slightly above current Medicaid eligibility levels (due to additional hours or a raise or promotion for example), they face higher health insurance and health care costs that more than cancel out the pay increase they receive. Crossing into the private insurance market puts these workers and their families at an overall financial disadvantage. This loss of eligibility is often referred to as the “Medicaid Cliff.”

If a person’s income rises above Medicaid eligibility (138% of the federal poverty level which is $1,563 a month for an individual and $2,648 for a family of three), they face higher out-of-pocket costs under current health insurance coverage options. The example below shows how a $1,800/year raise could result in $3,800 more in annual health care costs.

Please watch this short video to learn more about how people are affected by Benefits Cliffs. 

Luckily help for West Virginians who can’t work more for fear of losing their vital health coverage is on the horizon! HB 3274 was introduced on Friday in the House. This bill will raise the income level people can make and still keep their healthcare! Stay tuned! 

URGENT! HB 2007 Anti-Trans Bill Passes the House and on to the Senate

We are very concerned that HB 2007 passed the WV House of Delegates and could be on the way to becoming a repressive, backwards and deadly law. This is another culture war bill being brought up in statehouses around the county that would outlaw gender-affirming healthcare for the youth of WV. It passed the House after dozens of impacted people, parents, physicians, psychologists, social workers and lawyers spoke passionately against the dangerous bill. Only two people spoke for the bill. Parents plead for their children, sharing story after story of their children being suicidal and deeply depressed before getting gender-affirming care and warning that this bill will risk the lives of our young people. 

Once again, our legislature is showing that our bodies are theirs to control. And their belief system is more important than civil liberties. And even more disappointing is that only 11 delegates came to the hearing to learn from professionals and families about the dire consequences of passing this bill. Yet they voted for it anyway.

Please contact your senators and ask them to say NO to HB 2007. If you want to know more about the impact of this bill that will harm our young people. 

HB 2007 Hearing on Anti-Trans bill

Help for West Virginia diabetics could be on the way!!

HB 2430 is a bill to lower the cost of insulin and diabetic supplies for people with health insurance. The proper supplies and insulin can literally extend the lives of diabetics by a decade or two. This means so much to our state because West Virginia has the highest rate of deaths due to diabetes in the country. 

  1. Please read this oped by Kat Stoll about why it is time for this bill to pass!
  2. Take action to let your lawmakers know that this bill is important to you and your loved ones.
  3. Contact House Health Committee Chair Delegate Amy Summers (R) Taylor Co. and ask her to put it on her committee’s agenda! The sooner we get it on the agenda the more time we will have to get it passed. If your delegate is on the Health Committee, contact them as well to show your support!

Bill to expand Medicaid Dental Coverage to adults!

Another bill that could strengthen the health of West Virginians is SB 269, which would raise the Medicaid Dental Benefit from $1,000 to $2,000 a year for adult recipients. We believe dental and vision health are inseparable from health in general and are pleased to see this step being taken to help the many people in WV who desperately need dental services. The bill passed the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee unanimously and is now in the Senate Finance Committee.

Please click on this link and let your lawmakers know that you support better dental health for the folks of this state!

For those of you who are looking for a dentist in your area that takes the adult Medicaid dental benefit, Health Care for All created this interactive map to help. 

We will continue to update you on these and other bills that affect the health of families in our state! Please get involved! We need your help!

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