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Some adults may be cut from state health program

December 1, 2011
The Maui Weekly

The Associated Press - Eligibility changes could eliminate thousands of low-income residents from the State of Hawai'i's Medicaid programs, known as QUEST.

State officials said last week that they intend to tighten QUEST eligibility levels and reduce some benefits in a bid to save $150 million over the next two years. Department of Human Services Director Patricia McManaman said the plan would still ensure coverage for more vulnerable populations, including children and the disabled. The state says spending has grown significantly but cannot keep up with enrollment and costs during a rough economy.

The proposed changes include restricting eligibility to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

That income level would mean an estimated 3,000 adults would lose coverage. The new plan, which requires federal approval, would take effect in July.



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