About 87,000 South Carolinians who suffer from mental illness or substance abuse addiction would qualify for Medicaid if the state expanded eligibility for the low-income health insurance program.
According to the Post and Courier a new federal report, “Benefits of Medicaid Expansion for Behavioral Health,” estimates 1.9 million Americans with mental illness or substance abuse addictions would benefit from Medicaid coverage if all states expanded their programs, as prescribed by the Affordable Care Act. In South Carolina the adults fall below the federal poverty line and remain uninsured because the state declines to participate in the expansion.
As the eligibility rules exist in South Carolina, childless adults rarely qualify for Medicaid, regardless of their poverty level. Gov. Nikki Haley argues that the state can’t afford for its Medicaid program to grow any larger.
More than 1 million adults and children in this state are already covered by Medicaid.