JACKSON, Miss. —
Federal law says that starting next January, states can extend coverage to people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $15,000 for one person. In Mississippi now, the income cutoff is about $5,500, but many able-bodied adults below that income threshold still don't qualify.
The federal government would pay 100 percent of medical expenses for the newly qualified Medicaid enrollees from 2014 to 2017. The federal share would be reduced to 90 percent by 2020, with each state paying the balance. Bryant has said he doesn't trust Congress to fulfill its funding promises and he doesn't want state government to be left with large obligations it can't afford.