Medicaid is in a bigger hole than she expected, Glisson says

Kentucky’s Medicaid program is $124 million over budget and faces a $611 million deficit over the next two years due to its expansion under federal health reform, the impending end of full federal funding for the expansion, and an aging population, the state health secretary told a legislative committee Feb. 24.

Glisson appeared with Deputy Secretary
Tim Feeley (Herald-Leader photo)

Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson said she was surprised to find when she took over the Cabinet for Health and Family Services that “traditional Medicaid is hemorrhaging. It’s not bleeding, it’s hemorrhaging.”

In addition to the 420,000 people covered by the expansion, promotion of the program “also brought in more than 60,000 people who were already eligible for Medicaid,” Adam Beam writes for The Associated Press. “Those people were added to the traditional program, where Kentucky taxpayers must pay 30 percent of the cost.”

Those people may cost even more in the two-year budget that begins July 1, and the state will also have to pay 5 percent of the expansion cost beginning in 2017. That will rise in annual steps to the law’s limit of 10 percent in 2020. Gov. Matt Bevin is negotiating with the federal government to reshape the program to cut costs.

As for the current shortfall, “Glisson could not tell lawmakers how she planned to make up the deficit,” and promised to have details in a week or so, Beam reports.

Previous Article
Next Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *