Update: Utah’s narrowed Medicaid expansion

When Utah voters approved Proposition 3 during the November 2018 election cycle, they believed that come April 1, the number of people eligible for coverage under Medicaid would be expanded. Following the recent legislative session, however, this is not the case.

Proposition 3 attempted to provide Medicaid to Utahns under the age of 65, whose income level was equal to or below 138% of the federal poverty line. The measure also vowed to increase property taxes from 4.70% to 4.83% in an attempt to finance the state’s portion of the cost of Medicaid. You can read the full proposition here.  


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During the legislative session that ended nearly a month ago, an alternative law was signed that replaces Proposition 3. Senate Bill 96 adjusts the Medicaid expansions that were approved via Prop 3 to make changes to eligibility and administration of Medicaid, and caps the income eligibility to 100% of the federal poverty level.

Beginning April 1, 70,000-90,000 Utahns are able to receive Medicaid if they meet the requirements. If Prop 3 had been implemented on the April 1, nearly 150,000 Utahns who meet the requirements would be covered.

Although Senate Bill 96 imposed a set of limitations to the provisions of Prop 3, benefits for women who fall under the poverty line has actually expanded. As of April 1, women who are equal to or fall below the 100% federal government poverty level are able to qualify for free contraceptives. This represents a new form of coverage for low income women in Utah.

This expansion, proposed and run by Rep. Raymond Ward during the 2018 Legislative Session, was ultimately incorporated into several bills passed during the 2019 Legislative Session. Rep. Ward estimates that with these new laws in place, as many as 8,000 women could receive contraceptives.

You can read additional information about the research behind Rep. Ward’s plan here.

Additional information on contraceptives, and access to them from the Utah Department of Health can be accessed here.