Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Health

Alabama vets ask Gov. Kay Ivey to expand Medicaid

Doing so would provide access to affordable healthcare to approximately 5,000 veterans and 8,000 family members, the letter reads.

(STOCK)

In a letter to Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday, Veterans Day, signed by 145 Alabama military veterans, they ask her and the state Legislature to expand Medicaid in Alabama, which would provide access to affordable healthcare to approximately 5,000 veterans and 8,000 family members. 

“More than 5,000 veterans and 8,000 of their family members are trapped in the coverage gap,” the letter reads. “These heroic men and women protected our country and now we are asking for you to do all that you can to protect them by expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income adults.”

The letter was written by the Cover Alabama Coalition, a nonpartisan alliance of more than 150 groups advocating for quality, affordable healthcare. 

“It’s a common misconception that people who serve in the U.S. military automatically receive lifetime eligibility for health coverage and other benefits. In reality, veterans’ health benefits depend on their length of service, military classification, type of discharge and other factors,” the letter continues. 

Alabama is one of only 12 states that have yet to expand Medicaid. The coalition in a statement notes that President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act would, over two years, provide Alabama with hundreds of millions of dollars of new federal funds for Alabama Medicaid.

The federal funding boost through the American Rescue Plan Act would pay for Alabama’s cost to expand Medicaid for nearly the first five years, according to a study by Manett Health. 

“My hope is that Governor Ivey sees our pleas and understands the hardships many of us have been silently enduring for all these years,” said Rev. Clyde Jones, a U.S. Army veteran and Bronze star recipient, in a statement. “We’re asking for this to be the last Veterans Day where so many of us are left uninsured.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

You can read the letter in full below.

Dear Governor Ivey and Members of the Alabama Legislature:

As proud members of Alabama’s community of military veterans, we ask you to expand Medicaid to help veterans and their family members who currently lack consistent, quality, and affordable health insurance.

More than 5,000 veterans and 8,000 of their family members are trapped in the coverage gap. They make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford a private insurance plan. These heroic men and women protected our country and now we are asking for you to do all that you can to protect them by expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income adults.

It’s a common misconception that people who serve in the U.S. military automatically receive lifetime eligibility for health coverage and other benefits. In reality, veterans’ health benefits depend on their length of service, military classification, type of discharge and other factors.

That is why we urge you to quickly expand Medicaid to low-income adults so that we can protect thousands of Alabama’s veterans and their families.

Research shows that in states that expanded Medicaid, coverage among veterans has increased and their uninsured rate has fallen. Research also shows that Medicaid expansion has had a positive impact on access to and utilization of care among the low-income population and that nonelderly veterans with Medicaid coverage fare better on measures of access and utilization than those who are uninsured.

For these reasons, we urge you to expand Medicaid now.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

DIG DEEPER

State

At 31, Ashley Jones is also the youngest poet laureate ever selected in Alabama.

Health

U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty's order widens another judge's order, making the temporary ban nationwide.

Health

Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, UAB’s director of infectious diseases, said omicron hasn't yet been detected in the U.S. but expects it’s here.

Governor

The Community Action Agencies Association is using funds of $450,000 to provide support to 19 agencies across Alabama.