Beshear announces Medicaid decision Thursday

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Associated Press
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

FRANKFORT, Ky. - More than 300,000 Kentuckians currently uninsured will now have the chance to benefit from the federal Medicaid health insurance program.

The move will create 17,000 new jobs and have a more than $15 billion dollar positive economic impact on Kentucky.

The announcement came Thursday, as Governor Steve Beshear calls it the "single most important decision in our lifetime for improving the health of Kentuckians."

The expansion is in accordance with the federal Affordable Care Act, and will ensure every Kentuckian will have access to affordable health insurance.

To qualify for Medicaid or the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program, you must be:

--  an adult receiving disability

--  a relative who is a caretaker of a child who's eligible for medicaid

--  if you have an income below 43-percent below the federal poverty level

--  if you are uninsured and pregnant

--  any child with a family living under the federal poverty level.

Earlier story:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear has scheduled a news conference Thursday afternoon to announce whether he will expand Kentucky's Medicaid program to cover hundreds of thousands of additional people.
   
The event is set for 1:30 p.m. EDT in the Capitol.
   
Kentucky's Medicaid program already provides medical coverage to some 800,000 people. The federal Affordable Care Act allows states to expand coverage to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
   
Beshear had been trying to pin down just how many additional Kentuckians would be eligible for coverage and how much that coverage would cost. Some estimates put the number of potential new recipients at around 300,000.
   
The federal government would fully fund the expansion for three years with the state's share gradually increasing to 10 percent by 2020.

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