Health care ruling impact on Olmsted County - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Health care ruling impact on Olmsted County

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)-- Here in Minnesota we're getting an idea of how the Affordable Care Act will affect people in Olmsted County. There are many unanswered questions and this isn't the end of the health care fight, but after Thursday's ruling, we do have a better idea of what things could be like by 2014.

With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of most of President Obama's Health care reform law all Americans will be required to buy health insurance or else pay a tax.

Although the court tossed out a penalty for states that don't expand Medicaid programs, Minnesota has already signed on.

There are now 84,000 Minnesotans enrolled under the Medicaid expansion.

Connie Bagley with the Area Agency on Aging says anything can change, "I think we're waiting to see the full decision and then we also need to consider that on both the national level and the state level, both congress and the legislature can still take some actions that might have some impact on this."

The federal government will pick up the $1.45 billion cost for the Medicaid expansion in the first two years but by 2016, the state will have to pay 10% of that cost.

Connie Bagley says, "I don't expect to see big changes happening in the next 6 months or even a year. It's going to take some time."

Director of Olmsted County Community Services, Paul Fleissner, says there are about 17,000 people in the county who are on federally funded health care and thousands more are expected to be added, "A whole bunch of single adults who haven't been eligible will be eligible and some families who haven't been eligible will be eligible."

It also will streamline the eligibility process. It'll be the first time Olmsted County has an automated system.

Paul Fleissner says, "Minnesota has very old computer systems that really are called legacy systems. they wont' be allowed to connect with the feds anymore come 2014."

And people will be able to access health care if they're eligible from an online setting.

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