Officials: Mass. may need to adjust health law

Associated Press | 3/30/2010, 8:16 p.m.

But Kingsdale also said there is plenty of time for any wrinkles to be ironed out, particularly given that many of the elements of the federal legislation don’t kick in for a few years.

There are other parts of the federal bill that will be a clear boon to Massachusetts.

Under the bill, the state is scheduled to receive an additional $2 billion in Medicaid assistance between 2014 to 2020 to expand coverage for lower income residents.

The federal legislation also expands the pool of people eligible for subsidized care.

Under the state law, individuals making up to three times the federal poverty level, or about $32,500 a year, are eligible for subsidized care. The federal bill expands that to 400 percent, or $43,320 for an individual.

The federal law also includes coverage for legal immigrants. Massachusetts lawmakers last year voted to deny coverage to legal immigrants in an effort to save $130 million as the state struggled to close a budget gap.

Bigby said she’s confident that after all the kinks are worked out, Massachusetts will end up being rewarded rather than punished for being at the vanguard of overhauling health care.

“There is recognition that some states are already doing some of these things and they should be allowed to build on pieces of the federal reform that already exist in their state,” she said.

Associated Press