The health reform law that will take full affect starting in 2014, will have a huge impact on Medicaid eligibility. Many Americans that take advantage of the Medicaid program will have increased benefits as well because of the new legislation passed by the Obama administration. In New Jersey, because of the changes proposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, about 500,000 new residents will become eligible for Medicaid. This will put a huge strain not only the health care system, but in the delivery of the services demanded by the participants. This change in eligibility requirements will also put a strain on the already out of control budgetary problems most states are facing now. Because of the projected increase in participation, critics are saying that management of the new Medicaid program will be very difficult.
In states like Rhode Island, they are taking more of a proactive approach. They are enrolling qualified participants to receive care inside their home as opposed to inside a clinic or nursing home. This is saved over $150 million over the past two years. Many states have to take similar innovative approaches if they wish to combat the large projected cost increases starting in 2014.