Medicaid is Expanding. Will you Qualify for Healthcare Coverage?

Over time, the cost of living and what it means for people and the overall healthcare system gets reevaluated. The result recently is an expansion of the number of people who will be eligible for Medicaid healthcare coverage, coming August 1, 2020.

In 2020, the state of Nebraska, among other states, can look forward to a Medicaid expansion. What does this mean exactly? Well, Medicaid determines healthcare insurance eligibility based upon income levels associated with aging, disability, and poverty. It is a program meant to provide healthcare to people who could not otherwise afford it.


Over time, the cost of living and what it means for people and the overall healthcare system gets reevaluated. The result recently is an expansion of the number of people who will be eligible for Medicaid healthcare coverage, coming August 1, 2020.


Expanding Medicaid seems like a win-win: more patients paying for services and more people with healthcare coverage. Those are both things we need in healthcare. However, it is not so simple and we often fail to see the ramifications of this type of expansion. What exactly are the positive and negative impacts, if any, and to whom? Let’s consider:

  • Individual Patients
  • Medical Providers
  • Healthcare Clinics
  • Hospitals and Emergency Rooms


The Medicaid expansion impact is different depending on the type of providers, patient demographics, and facilities – everyone will have slightly different impacts. However, growth will be a necessity moving forward.


People who qualify for Medicaid must currently be at 100% or below the poverty line, which in 2020 is an income of $16,910 for a family of two, or $30,170 for a family of five. With this expansion, the family of two can now earn $23,336 and the family of five can earn $41,635 and still qualify for Medicaid coverage.


Providers in low-income areas typically want patients with insurance because they will get paid for services provided that would otherwise be a loss with their sliding scale patients, and they will see more patients in general, who might not seek care without coverage. They may also not have the capacity for an increase in patients.

Providers who did not have sliding scale fees may now have more patients seeking care as well, as these patients will go to their provider, rather than the emergency room or opt for no care. We can predict a greater need for healthcare providers in general than we are currently experiencing.


Healthcare facilities that provide sliding scale fees for patients without healthcare coverage will likely have more patients who qualify for coverage and will soon be able to pay with the expansion – increasing revenue. However, these clinics may not have the capacity to take on these added patients and visits.


It would seem that paying patients will only benefit hospitals, but they also may have trouble with capacity, as more people will seek care that may not have in the past.


To enroll August 1, 2020, go online at or use the call center at 1-800-318-2596. You can also enroll online at ACCESSNebraska, or print a paper application from their website


Adults up to age 64 with income up to 138 percent of the poverty level (see the chart above) will be eligible for Medicaid.


We’ve got you covered. We have Patient Support Services ready to help you determine eligibility, and we are excited about this expansion and what it means for your health. We want nothing more than for our patients to get the care they need without the burden of cost. As an organization, we continually grow and set goals to meet the needs of our growing patient base and we will continue to strive to meet the needs of our patient population.


If you have questions or need help with Medicaid Expansion Enrollment, please visit or call 402-476-1455 and ask to speak with Patient Support Services about applying for Medicaid coverage with the recent expansion.

Click to read more about Nebraska’s Medicaid program and preventive care.

Continue reading

Shane Ludwig

Developing A Skilled and Dedicated Team At Bluestem Health

Shane Ludwig, Bluestem Health’s COO since 2014, has been developing a skilled and dedicated team as his role and Bluestem Health has grown.

Pay Your Medical Bills Using Payment Portal

Our Payment Portal: A Convenient Way to Pay Your Medical Bills

We make it easy for patients to pay with our Online Bill Pay. Not only is it fast and convenient, but your payment is securely processed directly into your account every night.

Navigating Healthcare Costs: How Bluestem Health Provides Financial Assistance

At Bluestem Health, we believe everyone deserves access to high-quality healthcare, regardless of their financial circumstances. That’s why we offer a range of financial assistance options, including sliding scale fees, Medicaid, Medicare, and the 340B Pharmacy Program, to help our patients afford the care they need to stay healthy.