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Medicaid Alabama Enrollment

Working class families apply for Medicaid in Alabama in large numbers

In the past two years, the enrollment for the Alabama Medicaid program has grown drastically. There has been an estimated increase of almost 50,000 new enrollees. The largest of this increase is due to the enrollment of teens, children and pregnant women who are in need of financial assistance and health care coverage. According to Robin Rawls, the Spokeswoman for the Alabama Medicaid Agency, the increase is due to the status of the economy. It is believed that the largest increase will probably include the working class. Since the economy is failing, many of the working families are now unable to afford medical coverage, turning to the Alabama Medicaid program for assistance.
Families who have members working at low-income jobs continue to enroll in the program. The number of aged, disabled and blind enrollees has continued to remain about the same over recent years. The reason for this is that these groups of individuals are not members of the work field. The state of the current economy has had a severe effect on the middle working class. Thousands of families are looking for ways to provide medical coverage for their families since they cannot afford a company-offered plan. The recent increase in Alabama Medicaid enrollment has been the largest in the history of the state. In addition to the state and federal Medicaid program offered, Alabama also has another program called SOBRA. This is a Medicaid program that is available to qualifying pregnant women, children and teens. Since October 2006, Alabama has seen an increase in enrollment for this program by more than 45,000. Those who qualify for SOBRA typically have an income that is equal to or slightly higher than the current poverty limit.
Medicaid for Low Income Families is another program offered by the state of Alabama. It, like SOBRA, is available to qualifying individuals and families. This program is designed to offer health care to families who have very low income levels. These families are well below the poverty line and have no means of obtaining other forms of health coverage. Many of the families enrolled in this program have young children at home. The past two years has seen an increase of more than 3,500 new enrollments into the Medicaid for Low Income Families program.
Rawls has reported that this is the first time she has seen this type of increase in the number of families who are applying for Alabama Medicaid. They are all first time applicants who have been affected by the economic crisis. Many of the new applicants are families that used to be covered by ALL Kids. This is a program that is government-subsidized. It is designed to assist families with children who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. However, since these families have lost income, they are now eligible for Medicaid. Statistics have revealed that as of July 2009, more than 810,000 people are enrolled in the Medicaid program in Alabama. This is almost 17% of the entire population of the state. It is unknown at this time how many more applicants will arise, but the increase over the past two years has been astounding.
The recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, known as ARRA, has helped financially support the Medicaid program in the state. These federal stimulus dollars have been crucial to the maintenance of the program. Over the next 27 months, Alabama expects to receive $850 million, which will continue to help support the program and the increasing number of enrollees. With the high number of new applicants, Alabama is relying on the federal stimulus money in order to continue to offer the Medicaid program to those in need.
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