Noteworthy News

State Medicaid Costs Continue to Rise

States are still struggling with rising Medicaid costs, and during the current fiscal year, at least ten states are already over budget.

Among the reasons for these overruns are rising enrollment and rising health care costs, according to a new report published by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State Medicaid shortfalls can be especially troublesome for private, non-profit urban safety-net hospitals because of the large numbers of Medicaid patients they serve.  When states face such shortfalls, they sometimes propose reducing Medicaid payments to providers, cutting back on benefits, or reducing eligibility to save money.

The challenges that states are facing with their Medicaid budgets come at a time when many states still have not decided whether to expand their Medicaid programs as provided for in the Affordable Care Act.  A  Supreme Court decision earlier this year left that decision to the states; the law originally mandated the expansion.

Learn more about the states that are having an especially hard time and the challenges all states face moving forward in this Reuters article.  Find a condensed version of the report herencsl, on the web site of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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