MEDIA ADVISORY: Health Advocacy Coalition Highlights Legislation That Could Address Medicaid “Benefits Cliff” at No State Cost

Media Advisory:
February 9, 2022

Contact: Renee Alves, 304-720-8682

Health Advocacy Coalition Highlights
Legislation That Could Address
Medicaid “Benefits Cliff” at No State Cost

Charleston, WV – On Thursday February 10, Health Care for All WV, a statewide coalition of health advocacy organizations and individuals working to improve access to health care for West Virginians, will hold a press conference at the WV State Capitol Complex in support of HB 3001. The legislation, introduced by Delegate Evan Worrell (R-Cabell) would establish the Affordable Medicaid Buy-in Program, which would meaningfully address the Medicaid “benefits cliff” and ensure that no West Virginian would have to choose between taking a better job opportunity and keeping their Medicaid health coverage.

The “benefits cliff” refers to a phenomenon where a small increase in income due to a new job or pay increase causes an individual or family to lose eligibility for Medicaid. This can result in the worker and their family being worse off financially than they were prior to the pay increase. HB 3001 would utilize federal dollars to allow people who lose eligibility for Medicaid to keep their health insurance by purchasing the same coverage with an affordable monthly premium based on a sliding scale – at no cost to the state budget. In December, the Joint Committee on Finance studied the “benefits cliff,” identifying it as one possible explanation for the high number of job openings in the state. HB 3001 allows legislators to create a program that ensures that the threat of losing health coverage does not keep anyone from taking a new job.

Members of the media will have the opportunity to hear from legislative sponsors, policy experts, and West Virginians who are personally impacted by the need for legislation that addresses the Medicaid cliff.

WHAT: Press conference in support of HB 3001

WHEN: Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 10:00am

WHERE: Governor’s Cabinet and Conference Room, WV State Capitol Complex and virtually via Zoom:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89693775470?pwd=Q0tpbnpMTERua1hNR25vUW5xaEsxUT09

Meeting ID: 896 9377 5470 Password: Medicaid

WHO:
Delegate Evan Worrell (R-Cabell), HB 3001 Lead Sponsor
Dr. Jessie Ice, Executive Director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care
Kelly Allen, Executive Director of West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy
Jude Stephens, a current Medicaid recipient who would benefit from HB 3001

Updated: February 9, 2022 — 6:48 pm