Feds Approve Two-Tier Medicaid Expansion For Nebraska

 Gov. Pete Ricketts says the federal government has approved Nebraska’s two-tier plan for expanding Medicaid to over 90,000 low-income residents of the state.

       Ricketts, who fought Medicaid expansion until voters approved it 2 years ago, says the two-tier proposal offers basic and prime plans.

     The basic plan has coverage for physical and behavioral health care services and prescription drugs while the prime plan includes coverage for vision or dental services as well as over-the-counter drugs.

       The prime plan, which doesn’t begin until 2022, also requires participants to work, volunteer, take classes, or get job training.

      OpenSky Policy Director Tiffany Friesen Milone, policy director of the liberal-leaning OpenSky Institute, says “the approved plan isn’t a fiscally responsible way to provide comprehensive health coverage to Nebraska’s families.”

       Milone says the plan “will cost the state significantly more in increased bureaucracy and administrative complexity than if it had simply allowed the expansion population to enroll in the traditional Medicaid program.”