Forum: Bridging the Idaho Medicaid Gap
Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 11:45 am- 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel, Ballroom 2nd floor
Corey Surber, Director of State Advocacy for Saint Alphonsus & Senator Marv Hagedorn
When the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obama Care) became law in 2010, states were given the option to expand Medicaid up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level for able-bodied adults ($16,643 individual $33,948 for a family of four in 2017) without children in the home. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have chosen to expand Medicaid. Idaho is one of 19 states that chose not to. Idaho currently provides no insurance coverage for adults without children. In the seven years since passage of ACA, there has been considerable debate in the Idaho legislature about how to cover low income adults who make too little to be covered by ACA tax subsidies and make too much to be on Medicaid. This group is known in Idaho as the “Gap” population.


There are an estimated 78,000 Idahoans who would benefit from Medicaid expansion. Last year a physician stated in testimony to the legislature that as many as a 1000 Idahoans needlessly die each year because they cannot afford access to preventive, primary care. Governor Otter has hosted two work groups (2012 and 2014) on how to meet the needs of low-income uninsured Idahoans. Last summer (2016) the Idaho Legislature hosted an interim committee on this issue. The 2017 Idaho Legislature has considered multiple proposals this session to utilize state funding only and provide limited primary care in some capacity to a subset of the gap population.


The most recent twist in the ongoing efforts to expand Medicaid comes from the Republican Congressional proposal, “the American Health Care Act”. This proposal would continue Medicaid expansion until 2020. States can still elect to expand Medicaid and those who have expanded Medicaid would continue to receive Medicaid benefits as provided for in the ACA. In 2020, Medicaid expansion would end and Medicaid funding would be capped on a per-person basis. States would be given more flexibility to design and implement their capped programs. This flexibility is intended to compensate for the fact that federal funding for new people needing assistance would no longer be available. States, such as Idaho, which have chosen not to expand Medicaid, would be provided additional funding for hospitals serving low income populations and all states would receive additional funding for community health centers.


City Club of Boise has invited two Idaho experts to discuss this complicated tableau. Corey Surber is the Director of State Advocacy for Saint Alphonsus and their parent system Trinity Health. Ms. Surber served as the facilitator of Governor Otter’s work groups on Medicaid Redesign. Senator Marv Hagedorn served as the Co-chair of the 2016 Legislative Working Group on "Healthcare Alternatives for Citizens below 100 percent of Poverty Level" and introduced in 2017 a Senate bill to expand primary care to Idaho's gap population.


About the speakers:



Marv Hagedorn picSenator Marv Hagedorn is a Republican member of the Idaho State Senate, representing District 14. He was first elected to the chamber in 2012. He previously served three terms  in the Idaho House of Representatives from 2006 to 2012. Senator Hagedorn served 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He has spent 22 years in the private sector including serving as CEO of a multi-million dollar private company dealing in the international sale of farm and construction equipment. While in the Senate, he has served on Health and Welfare, Judiciary and Rules, and Transportation Committees.  He served as Co-chair of the 2016 Legislative working group on “Healthcare Alternatives for Citizens below 100 percent of Poverty Level.”  Senator Hagedorn is the Co-founder and Vice President. Wyakin Warrior Foundation.  In December 2016, Senator Hagedorn announced he would be running as a Republican for Idaho Lieutenant Governor in 2018.


Corey Headshot 2017Corey Surber currently serves as Director of State Advocacy for Saint Alphonsus and their parent system Trinity Health, and has been with Saint Alphonsus for the past 24 years.  Corey is also adjunct faculty at Boise State University, teaching undergrad and graduate courses dealing with health policy, health delivery systems and health care quality.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from College of Idaho, and a Master of Health Science degree from Boise State University.


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City Club thanks our annual sponsors, including Northwest Nazarene UniversityRed Sky, and Idaho Humanities Council. This Forum Series is sponsored by the contribtions made by MicronPerkins Coie, and Echelon Group.  We are please to welcome university students to attend our events thanks to our University partners Boise State University and University of Idaho.  Our media partners include Idaho Public TelevisionPeppershock Media and Boise State Public Radio.


Special thanks to this forum sponsor, Delta Dental of Idaho!


To see and hear the recordings of previous forums in the Civility Series, visit
Chair: Julie Robinson
Moderator: William Manny
Underwriters: Delta Dental of Idaho