Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

February 4, 2005

Governor recommends changes to Medicaid budget

Eligibility for Medicaid coverage for the elderly and disabled will be reduced from 100 percent of the federal poverty level to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) limits (74 percent of the federal poverty level for single adults and 80 percent of the federal poverty level for married couples). According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 100 percent of the federal poverty level is $9,310 per year for a single person. The recommended changes would reduce that amount to approximately $6,889 for a single person and $7,448 for a married couple. This reduction reverses the action of the General Assembly over the past three years when it appropriated funds to increase the eligibility for the elderly and disabled from the SSI level to 100 percent. The adjustment could save approximately $250 million for the program.

Eligibility for Medicaid coverage for parents and caregivers of children who are covered by Medicaid will be reduced from 75 percent of the federal poverty level to approximately 30 percent of the federal poverty level -- the minimum level allowed by federal law. For example, in order to be eligible, a family of three would only be allowed to make approximately $4,701 per year. The reduction continues a trend over the last three fiscal years, when the coverage for this population was reduced from 100 percent to 75 percent. Other cuts include adult dental services and adult rehabilitation and specialty services.

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