PIERRE, S.D. — A proposed initiated constitutional amendment and a proposed initiated measure, both that would expand Medicaid eligibility requirements in South Dakota, have been filed with the South Dakota Secretary of State's Office, according to a news release from Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg's Office.
The explanations for the constitutional amendment and initiated measure will appear on petitions circulated by their sponsor, Rick Weiland.
"If the sponsor obtains a sufficient number of signatures by November 2021, as certified by the Secretary of State, the proposed amendment may be placed on the ballot for the November 2022 general election," the release states.
The petitions will need 34,000 signatures each.
The amendment and initiated measure would expand income eligibility requirements to all those who live below 133% of the federal poverty line.
Medicaid is funded by both the state and federal governments.
About 118,000 South Dakotans are covered by the state's Medicaid during an average month, according to information on the state's Department of Social Services website.
"South Dakota has a conservative program; coverage for adults is limited to those with disabilities, pregnant women, and low income parents. Children make up the largest group of individuals receiving coverage at 68%," the website states.
A 2015 survey estimated that Medcaid expansion would result in 49,721 additional people eligible for Medicaid coverage.
"Approximately 30% of the expansion population is American Indian. One-third of the expansion group is comprised of adults in low income families with incomes between 53-138% of the federal poverty line. Two-thirds of the expansion group will be a new group of single adults."
In a March 2019 report reviewed by state lawmakers, total monthly enrollment for Medicaid and Child Health Insurance Program eligibles was down 2,089 from the prior year, while total Medicaid recipients (an individual that had at least one medical service paid for during the month) was 62,546, the 12-month average is 60,777. Total expenditures per recipient was $1,107 for March 2019, the 12-month average is $1,216.