On March 30, the Department of Health Services (DHS) submitted its quarterly report to the Joint Finance Committee chairs, detailing the latest Medicaid projection for the 2017-19 biennium. DHS estimates the state will end the biennium in June 2019 with a balance of $59.7 million general purpose revenue (GPR) and $145.6 million in all funds. The positive projection is a $50 million GPR increase in the ending balance compared to December’s report and is significant improvement from DHS’s September projection of negative $7.9 million. However, as DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer notes in her letter, Medicaid projections fluctuate throughout the biennium.
DHS cites several factors for the improved estimate, including higher than projected manufacturers’ rebates for prescription drugs, lower enrollment in the Family Care program, and $16 million more GPR to adjustments in federal claiming. DHS will update this projection again in June at the end of the 2018 fiscal year.