Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

March 11 , 2005

Medicaid reform proceeds in House and Senate

On Wednesday, March 9, the House Budget subcommittee on Health, Mental Health, and Social Services approved the recommendations it will make to the full Budget Committee within the next few weeks. Approximately $97 million in state funds (which would draw an additional $142 million in federal funds) were restored to a number of different programs that had been reduced per the governor's recommendations. The restorations include (in approximate):

  1. $57 million for psychiatric and alcohol and drug community programs for non-Medicaid individuals, as administered by the Department of Mental Health;
  2. $15 million to restore funding to certain Department of Mental Health and Department of Health and Senior Services programs, such as in-home services, instead of requiring individuals to make copayments to obtain these services;
  3. $14.6 million to Department of Health and Senior Services home and community services;
  4. $31 million to continue coverage of certain rehabilitation and specialty services and equipment, such as hospice, ambulance, oxygen and respiratory equipment, wheelchairs, diabetic supplies and equipment, and prosthetics; and
  5. An increase of the income limit for elderly and disabled Medicaid eligibility from the governor's recommended 75 percent of the federal poverty level to 85 percent of federal poverty (approximately $8,100 per year for an individual).

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