Today, the United States Supreme Court upheld most provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This ruling will have significant impacts on many individuals with disabilities. Most importantly, the ACA ensures that individuals cannot be denied healthcare due to a pre-existing condition or discriminated against based on their health status, two provisions essential to providing fair access to services for individuals with disabilities.
Today’s decision is particularly critical for individuals who access Medicaid services. While the Court did not entirely affirm the law’s Medicaid expansion, importantly, it affirmed the right to grant. In short, the Court allowed states to choose to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid services, if states comply with new federal conditions, set forth in the ACA. The Court also held, however, that if a state does not want to join this Medicaid expansion, it can refuse to accept the additional funds slated for the expansion and thus, will not have to comply with any of the new conditions. It is unclear at this time how many states will choose to participate in the Medicaid expansion. But, under this ruling, states have the option to open Medicaid eligibility to all individuals and families with income up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2010, as many as 3.5 million adults with disabilities living in the community have household incomes between 100 and 133% of poverty and therefore may qualify for Medicaid under the expansion. Finally, the Court ruled that even if a state does not choose to participate in the expansion, it can continue to participate in Medicaid as it exists currently – meaning there will be no impact on current services.
For more information on this ruling and what the ACA means for people with disabilities click here.
For information and analysis of today’s decision click here.
To read the full decision click here.
To read how this might impact your state go here: