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Kentuckians Voice Concerns Over Medicaid Changes as Comment Period Closes

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Natalia Merzlyakova
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123rf Stock Photo

The federal comment period for Governor Matt Bevin’s proposed Medicaid changes closes this weekend. Kentuckians have voiced concerns at a series of forums across the commonwealth. 

Marcie Timmerman is Health Communications Coordinator for the Kentucky Center for Equal Justice, an advocacy group for low income individuals and co-host of the federal forums.

She said concerns from people who attended include dropping vision and dental coverage, rising premium cost, defining the ‘medically frail’ exemption and confusion over earning money that would go towards medical benefits for community service.

“We’re hoping that the government will listen to those, just as the sheer quantity of them is pretty big. We’re pretty positive people are listening," Timmerman said.

Emily Beauregard is the Executive Director for the Kentucky Voices for Health, an advocacy group that aims to improve healthcare - and one of the co-hosts of the federal forums. She explained why she believes people get emotional about the proposed changes.

“So many Kentuckians got coverage for the first time in their adult lives because of the Medicaid expansion and they’re afraid that their going to lose it. And they’ve seen the transformation in their health and their own lives by having access to care," Beauregard said.

The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy reports approximately 87,600 fewer people would be enrolled in Medicaid by 2021 under Bevin’s plan. The federal comment period ends October 8th. The state comment period ended August 14th.

Note: A request for information from the Department for Medicaid Services is pending.

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