Nebraska starts sign-ups for Medicaid expansion

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 4:47 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Nearly three years after voters gave it the go-head, Nebraska is finally expanding Medicaid. It takes effect on Friday.

If you currently have Medicaid coverage, you don’t need to do a thing. You’ll automatically get full benefits and you don’t need a new Medicaid card.

Starting on Friday, dental, vision, and over-the-counter medications will be covered. Most of the coverage included before in health care was mental health and prescription drugs.

The eligibility requirements remain the same for those Nebraskans 19 to 64 years of age. If you’re single, the yearly income to qualify is $17,774, for a family of four, it’s $36,570.

The medical heartbeat of North Omaha, Charles Drew Health Center, turned Medicaid expansion into a party on Thursday.

“This is our community. This is our hub. Our job at Charles Drew is to take care of the community,” said Maurtice Ivy, Community Partnerships & Initiatives Director for Charles Drew Health Center.

Its team of experts spread out to enroll their neighbors into what it calls, “access to quality, affordable and equitable health that could potentially be life-changing.”

“I hope so. I took off work, just so I could take care of this.”

Melvin Sanders signed up, he’s grateful for the support. His quality of life has been suffering for a while.

“Osteoarthritis in both knees. This morning, I had to call in because of the storm. Everything was just painful,” said Sanders.

The state estimates the Medicaid expansion could impact 90,000 Nebraskans.

“It has to be the universal goal where the quality of life for people has to be important to us,” said Ivy.

If you missed the enrollment fair on Thursday, Charles Drew takes appointments Monday-Friday to signup for the Medicaid expansion. There are also ways to sign up with the state by calling 402-595-1178 and going online.

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