Medicaid Deficit Projected for End of the Biennium

On Oct. 2, the Department of Health Services (DHS) submitted a report on the Medicaid benefit budget to the Joint Committee on Finance. DHS projects that costs will exceed the budget by $7.9 million GPR by the end of the 2017-19 biennium, which began on July 1, 2017. The $7.9 million shortfall is due to higher than expected personal care expenditures and lower third-party revenue. Despite these negative impacts, DHS does cite there have been offsetting positive changes including a higher federal medical assistance percentage rate and more favorable enrollment levels and prescription drug expenditures in the first three months of the biennium.

DHS also notes that their projection assumes Congress will reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which expired on Sept. 30. If Congress does not act to reauthorize the program, DHS projects that there are enough carryover funds from FFY 17 to cover expenses through April 2018. If no reauthorization occurs in the remainder of the biennium, the cost would be $134 million GPR.