With big federal boost, Virginia shows Medicaid surplus this year, helping offset future costs

[ MM Curator Summary] Virginia predicts a Medicaid funding surplus next year, followed by a big jump to create nearly $1B more in Medicaid spending in the state within 2 years.


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Governor Northam talks about the state’s budget reserves

Virginia is showing a surplus of almost $654 million in its Medicaid program, boosted by federal spending that will help offset future cost increases in the next state budget for the $18 billion program for poor, elderly or disabled Virginians.

Medicaid costs will go up by a net $821 million in the two-year budget for July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024, which Gov. Ralph Northam will introduce on Dec. 16, but state officials also foresee a $124 million windfall if the federal government raises its share of the program expenses by almost 1% next year as tentatively proposed.

Program costs are projected to grow 1% in the first year and 5% in the second, administration officials said Wednesday.

“The numbers have come in lower than they have historically,” Secretary of Finance Joe Flores said in a briefing with leadership of the Department of Medical Assistance Services, the state Medicaid agency.

At the same time, Virginia will begin sorting out the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which added 392,000 people to the Medicaid rolls, some temporarily, as well as refugees from the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan who have settled in the state and qualify for health care assistance. Medicaid now serves more than 1.9 million Virginians in a state of 8.6 million.

The federal government has boosted emergency support of the program during the pandemic, extending a temporary 6.2% increase in its share of funding through March 31. The enhanced aid will reduce Virginia’s share by almost $146 million in the fiscal year that began July 1 and save the state more than $1 billion since the public health emergency began in March 2020.


Clipped from: https://richmond.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/with-big-federal-boost-virginia-shows-medicaid-surplus-this-year-helping-offset-future-costs/article_4f2d1ca3-2c17-5c67-a0a1-86223fbea569.html