Rep. Robert Spendlove ran a bill during the 2018 legislative session, that requires the Utah Department of Health to submit a waiver request to expand Medicaid in Utah. HB 472, Medicaid Expansion Revisions, passed the Utah Legislature and was signed by Governor Gary Herbert signed into law on March 27, 2018.
HB 472 has an enrollment cap, which limits the state’s liability while offering coverage to those under 100 percent of the federal poverty level, who make too little to qualify for the ACA exchange, and without access to employer-based health insurance.
HB 472 has the potential to expand Medicaid coverage to about 60,000 Utahns with no new state funds. Rather, it shifts state money from already existing programs to this one with a greater, 90 percent federal match rate. This legislation includes a work requirement component, as well as a safeguard to automatically sunset the program if federal funding drops below the 90 percent match.
This Medicaid expansion would provide care through a managed-care model and focuses on the health of the patient rather than the number of services provided, seeking to reduce costs and increase quality of care.