LB 1032 – The Transitional Health Insurance Program Act
What’s the Problem?
Everyone needs health coverage to see a doctor when they get sick or injured. But right now, about 77,000 Nebraskans have no way to get affordable health insurance. They make too little money to afford private insurance, but they also don’t qualify for Medicaid. These people are stuck with no solution in what we call “the coverage gap.”
LB 1032 is a solution that closes this coverage gap
LB 1032 creates the Transitional Health Insurance Program (or “T-HIP”). T-HIP is a new way for the 77,000 Nebraskans in the coverage gap to get the health insurance they need.
How does LB 1032 close the coverage gap?
LB 1032 uses the dollars Nebraska would’ve received to expand Medicaid to create T-HIP, a program that covers the same population covered by Medicaid expansion.
In T-HIP, participants would get coverage in three ways:
- Most participants will be enrolled in a private-market insurance plan through a model called “premium assistance.”
- Other participants will get help buying coverage through their job if their employer offers coverage.
- Some other participants, including those with serious or chronic health conditions, will be have traditional Medicaid coverage.
How will we pay for LB 1032?
Most of the cost of T-HIP coverage is paid for with federal funds, that is tax dollars Nebraskans already have paid. The federal government pays 95 percent of the costs for T-HIP in 2017, and will never pay less than 90 percent of the costs in the future. This lets Nebraska bring our tax dollars home to work for us.
There are programs currently paid for with state dollars that would become unnecessary if T-HIP passes, so we could end those and see significant savings in other areas of the state budget. These savings come from corrections, the state disability program, drug assistance programs, behavioral health, and breast and cervical cancer screenings. This will help offset any cost to the state for T-HIP.
How will passing LB 1032 benefit our state’s economy?
LB 1032 would have a significant positive impact on Nebraska’s economy.
- T-HIP would allow Nebraska to bring back around $2 billion in our tax dollars to our state between now and 2020 to pay for coverage and boost our economy.
- Between now and 2020, a program like T-HIP would generate almost $175 million in Nebraska state revenue and support an estimated 10,000 jobs.