Medicaid Costs To Rise By $671 Million, But Congress' Inaction On Children's Health Insurance Could Cost State Extra $195 Million

11/7/17

By Michael Martz, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Virginia’s Medicaid program will cost the state an additional $670.6 million over three years, but it could have been worse — and it will be unless Congress acts soon to restore federal funding for children’s health insurance.

The new forecast, compiled by the Department of Medical Assistance Services and made public Monday by Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration, provides the governor and the General Assembly a clearer road map for reaching the next two-year budget. It will be driven largely by the additional cost of Medicaid, K-12 education and building the state’s cash reserves to hedge against potential economic downturns.

However, the revised Medicaid outlook is still missing two big pieces — a potential state cost of $195.3 million to replace federal funding of coverage for 60,000 low-income children, and the price of funding an additional 825 waiver slots for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities under a federal civil rights settlement.

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