Nevada Medicaid backlog grows to 50,000

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - The backlog of Nevada Medicaid applications reached 50,000 at the end of January, five times the normal amount seen before federal health care reform expanded eligibility.

Department of Health and Human Services Director Mike Willden told the state Board of Examiners on Tuesday that most applications are from people previously not eligible for the low-income insurance program.

Those include adults without children, a population previously excluded from coverage in Nevada.

Gov. Brian Sandoval agreed to expand Medicaid eligibility under the federal health care reform law that requires everyone to have health insurance.

The new eligibility criteria took effect Jan. 1.

Willden says Nevada is on track to have 500,000 people enrolled by the end of the year.

The federal government is paying the full cost for the first three years.

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