VA Medicaid Expansion Could Cost Less Than Expected

Jan 23, 2014

New numbers released this week show that the state would save and not spend money, by implementing the new federal health care law. 

In a media briefing in Richmond yesterday, Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel stated that previous estimates of costs involved in implementing the affordable health care act in Virginia, are outdated and that the new numbers are based on more accurate data than was available in previous years.

In 2010, the estimated cost of expansion to the state exceeded 2.1-billion dollars over 10 years, and a 2012 estimate predicted the new law would cost 137-million dollars through 2022.  But new information shows that the state would actually save 1-billion dollars during the same period, through 2022.

The revised estimates reflect new assumptions about how much expansion would save the state in taxpayer subsidies to Virginia’s two biggest academic medical centers.

Governor McAuliffe has made expanding Medicaid eligibility, a key component of the health care law, a top priority of his new administration.

Republican Senator Chris Jones says he will insist on reforms being in place, working and producing savings before he will consider extending health coverage ultimately to more than 400,000 uninsured Virginians.