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Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Blog

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What are my alternatives to bankruptcy ?” As North Carolina continues to struggle with the issue of whether to opt in or opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, economists at Columbia University are touting what they see as one of the expansion’s indirect benefits: a reduction in bankruptcies. As is now well known, the Affordable Care Act—known in common parlance as Obamacare—gave states the option of expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income citizens. As it turned out, the “option” was not really an option at all. It was a requirement. States were required to expand Medicaid eligibility to people whose incomes were less than 138-percent of the Federal Poverty Level. That amounts to an annual income of $19,530 for a family of three, by year-2013 standards. A number of states took the word “option” seriously and opted out of the Medicaid expansion. They fought the Obama administration all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In 2012, the high court sided with states that viewed the term “option” as just that. States could opt out, the court ruled. Officials in states that opted out worried that swelling Medicaid rolls would drain state coffers. The federal government has agreed to foot the bill for Medicaid expansion until 2016, with its share of the bill dropping to 90-percent thereafter.

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