United States Virgin Islands Planning Expansion of Medicaid

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - July 12, 2013

Above: St Croix

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The United States Virgin Islands will be expanding the territory’s Medicaid programme in lieu of implementing a Health Exchange Marketplace, according to Governor John de Jongh.

The move comes according to the recommendations of a task force appointed by de Jongh, which concluded that there were “significant financial and structural roadblocks” to setting up an exchange.

“I have accepted the task force recommendations to expand our current Medicaid program further in lieu of establishing an Exchange,” the governor wrote in a letter to VI Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone.

“While this initial expansion does not address the immediate need of all uninsured, it is our intent to phase in Medicaid expansion starting with the most vulnerable populations. Planned future expansions include further raising the income limits for families, senior citizens, childless adults and persons with disabilities,” de Jongh wrote.

The governor said this approach would give the USVI “additional flexibility” in using its $24.9 million allotment for Medicaid.

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