State, Feds Have a $45 Million Medicaid Disagreement
A dispute between Governor Dannel Malloy and the federal government over Medicaid reimbursement rates could cost state taxpayers an extra $45 million.
Medicaid is health insurance for the poor. Back in 2010, Connecticut made it so that more low-income adults in the state could qualify for it. For that coverage, the feds reimbursed the state 50 cents on the dollar.
Then, on January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act kicked in -- and Connecticut was one of the states that expanded its Medicaid eligibility even further. For that coverage, the feds reimbursed the state entirely.
But what if someone got treated in 2013, but the billing didn't happen until 2014?
"The federal government is arguing that we should not be reimbursed 100 percent for any services that were provided to this population prior to January 2014," said Judy Dowd, who works in the state's budget office. She says the state wants to be reimbursed based on the date of payment. But, in February, the feds said they will only reimburse based on date of service.
GianCarl Casa also works in the budget office.
"It's a significant amount of money," he said. "$45 million is real money no matter how you count it. It's money that we believe the federal government rightly owes the state of Connecticut, and we're going to continue to appeal, we're going to continue to fight to make sure we get it."
With that $45 million swing, the state's projected deficit for this year increased to $132.8 million.