Low-income Nebraskans who qualify for health coverage under the voter-approved Medicaid expansion will have to wait another 18 months to get it.

Nebraska state officials said Monday that coverage will go live on Oct. 1, 2020. The announcement comes as the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services submits its proposed Medicaid state plan amendment to the federal government for approval.

Nebraska Medicaid Director Matthew Van Patton says the long timeline is necessary to get everything ready.

The proposal would also create two tiers of coverage.

Basic coverage would be based on a commercial health plan, while more comprehensive “prime” coverage would require that recipients be working, in school, volunteering or caring for a relative. Prime coverage would include dental, vision and over-the-counter drug coverage.

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