States May Get More Money for Medicaid
The $825 billion economic recovery package presented by House Democrats includes $88 billion to increase the federal share of states’ Medicaid costs, while the plan under consideration by the U.S. Senate includes $87 billion for the program.
States would receive a bump of 4.9 percent in their federal matching rate for nine quarters, retroactive to October 2008 in the House plan. The Senate plan would give all states a base 5.6 percentage point increase in the federal government’s share of the Medicaid program.
In both plans, states could receive an additional increase in federal funds if they experience significant increases in unemployment rates. Depending on the extent of the unemployment increases, states could receive an additional 5 percent, 10 percent or 13 percent reduction in the share of Medicaid a state pays.
The fiscal assistance for states would be effective for the period of Oct. 1, 2008, to Dec. 31, 2010.
In order to qualify for the increased Medicaid funds, states must not have more restrictive Medicaid eligibility requirements above and beyond those in place July 1, 2008. Restrictions prohibited include income eligibility or changes that make it more difficult for individuals to meet procedural requirements for enrollment or renewal.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has released a preliminary analysis of the increases each state could expect in state the 2009, 2010 and 2011 fiscal years in both the House and Senate versions. In addition, The Council of State Governments’ Washington office has compiled a chart comparing what each state would get under each plan.