West Virginia Planning To Expand Medicaid As Part Of Healthcare Reform

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West Virginia is heeding the call to expand Medicaid through the federal health care overhaul.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced the decision Thursday. It follows a financial analysis that says that more than $5 billion in federal funds will pay for nearly all that additional coverage over the next decade.

But the state's share of the costs would increase by $375 million during that time.

The federal law calls on states to extend Medicaid to more low-income adults. Around 166,000 more West Virginians would qualify. The analysis estimates that 91,500 uninsured residents are likely to enroll.

West Virginia is joining 22 other states to expand. Fourteen states have decided against expansion.

Tomblin also plans to pursue cost controls through managed care for some Medicaid services and co-payments for others.