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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) – Hundreds of thousands of people in Alabama are living without health insurance, keeping many from seeing a doctor when they need one.

However, these people are not unemployed, they have jobs.

That’s why leaders at the Alabama Hospital Association are working to close the coverage gap. Officials like Danne Howard, the Deputy Director of the AHA. Howard says investing in Alabama’s health up front could mean big payoffs down the road.

That’s because when these people do get health care, it ends up costing hospitals hundreds of thousands of dollars in uncompensated care, and the problem has to do with Medicaid.

These working Alabamians are making too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to buy private insurance.

That’s because Alabama is one of 10 states that has not expanded Medicaid to adults who don’t have children or disabilities.

Officials with the statewide community organization that focuses on communities affected by poverty, Alabama Arise say around 300,000 people in the state fall into this coverage gap.

The Deputy Director of AHA hopes to change that. “So we have got to figure out a way to get them health care insurance so that they can be healthier, we have better health outcomes in the state, our workforce, our job force is a healthier workforce, and it pumps so much money back into the economy when you have a healthier population,” Howard said.

The Alabama Hospital Association is coming up with a plan that could include coverage to more people and be appealing to both political parties, but nothing has changed just yet.

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