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$2.4 Billion In Federal Medicaid Aid Prevents State Budget Hole

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Dan Konik
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The increase in Ohio Medicaid caseloads could have blown a hole in the new two-year state budget proposal. But the spending plan includes a huge infusion of federal cash for the state’s largest part of the budget, the health insurance program for the poor. Ohi0 Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.

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The feds are continuing a temporary increase in assistance they pay to Medicaid. For Ohio, that means $300 million per quarter, or $2.4 billion over the two year budget. But Ohio Medicaid director Maureen Corcoran says there’s a condition attached to that money.

“To be sure that everybody has continuing Medicaid coverage throughout the pandemic as a kind of a safety net, CMS does not allow us to disenroll people or to change their benefits unless they move to another state or they pass away.”

But Corcoran says it’s a relief, since predicting the impact of the pandemic has been difficult.

“This pandemic has really broken all of the rules. So we expected more people would come on Medicaid. And it has it's still a lot of people and it's a lot of money, but not as much as we would have expected.

Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted said covering those costs without that federal money would absorb most of the $2.7 billion in the state’s rainy day fund.

 

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