A Senate resolution introduced today could ultimately help Delaware become the first state to implement Medicaid as a “public option.” Senate Concurrent Resolution 70 would create a study group to evaluate the particulars of a Medicaid Buy-In program for roughly 24,000 health care consumers in Delaware’s individual marketplace. While many states, including Delaware, offer Medicaid buy-in programs, those programs are narrowly available to specific groups of health care consumers, such as working adults with disabilities. No state currently offers a broader Medicaid buy-in option for middle class consumers.
SCR 70 also allows the Governor and the Secretary of Health and Social Services to apply for an innovation waiver under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act to implement a Medicaid buy-in program, including possible approval of federal premium tax credits to defray premiums for buyers between 138% and 400% of the federal poverty level.
If the Senate and House pass SCR 70, the Medicaid Buy-In Study Group will be required to hold its first meeting by September 10, 2018. A final report on the group’s findings and recommendations would be due to the Governor and the General Assembly by January 31, 2019.