FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Happy 49th Birthday, Medicaid!

July 30, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
CONTACT: Pati Urias | 480.322.2270

Happy 49th Birthday, Medicaid!
Medicaid, Medicare Signed Into Law on this Date in 1965

Phoenix, AZ – Considered to be at the end of the “Baby Boom” era, 1965 is known as a time for change in social issues and popular culture. For nostalgia’s sake, some trivia tidbits from that time:

  • “Bonanza” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show” were tops among television viewing audiences.
  • The number one song in America this week in 1965 was the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
  • Gas cost 31 cents a gallon.
  • A first-class postage stamp cost 5 cents.
  • Medicare, established to provide a coverage option for the elderly and medically disabled, and Medicaid, created as a safety net program for low-income individuals and families, were signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 30, 1965.

Although gas is far more expensive now and music and television shows have changed dramatically, it’s good to know that some things, such as Medicaid, have only improved over time.

Known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS, in Arizona, Medicaid was established in this state in 1982 as a managed care program, and over the years has been lauded as an efficient way for patients to be in control of their own health and keep taxpayer costs down.

AHCCCS was expanded in January of this year to enable eligible, low-income, childless adults to enroll. Because income requirements have been recently updated, more Arizonans than ever might be eligible for AHCCCS: Arizonans with no dependents can earn up to slightly more than $15,000 a year to qualify, while a family of two can earn up to $22,000. AHCCCS provides high-quality health coverage through private insurers, giving consumers the option to choose their own plan.

“Every day, we reach out to consumers to let them know about their health insurance options; It is good that so many uninsured have access to coverage through AHCCCS,” said Cheryl O’Donnell, Arizona state director for Get Covered America. “Nearly 200,000 people – and counting – are now covered through AHCCCS as a result of the program’s expansion.”

Approximately half of Arizona’s one million uninsured are projected to be AHCCCS-eligible. There is no deadline for consumers to apply for AHCCCS, as enrollment is available for eligible Arizonans at any time. For basic eligibility requirements, click here. For final determination of benefits, Arizonans should set up an online account and fill out an application on the Health-e Arizona Plus website.

Nearly 1.4 million Arizonans are currently enrolled in AHCCCS.

About Get Covered America and Enroll America

Get Covered America is a national campaign of Enroll America that is focused on educating consumers about the benefits of health coverage and the new health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act. With operations in eleven states (AZ, FL, GA, IL, MI, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TN and TX), our grassroots team is powered by passionate staff and volunteers with one motivating goal: to give Americans the information they need to choose an affordable health insurance plan that’s right for them and their families.

Enroll America is the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition, bringing together community and health organizations, businesses and others to inform consumers about new health coverage options and how to enroll in them. It is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.


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