DCH needs $573 million more for Medicaid, PeachCare

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The state board of community health adopted and sent to the governor’s office Thursday proposed budgets that request an additional $573 million in state funds to deal with shortfalls in the Medicaid and PeachCare health insurance programs.

Those requests for additional money will likely be whittled down by the governor’s Office of Planning and Budget and the General Assembly, but the budget proposals highlight the deficits in both programs.

The Department of Community Health’s supplemental budget for fiscal year 2012 includes $192.6 million to restore money borrowed from Medicaid for other budget areas and handle growth in the program.  The fiscal year 2013 budget asks for an extra $326 million for these purposes and to make up for the loss of federal stimulus funds.

PeachCare needs an additional $54 million in state funds for the two budget years, in part because DCH estimates that 40,000 children of state employees will be shifting from the State Health Benefits Plan to PeachCare coverage.

In a related area, DCH has revised and delayed the implementation of increased copayments that will be required of Medicaid and PeachCare recipients. The increased copays are projected to save the state about $3.4 million.

The increased copayments, which would take effect Nov. 1, include:

  • Inpatient hospital services – from $12.50 to $25.
  • Ambulatory surgical centers – from $3 to $3.65.
  • Federally qualified health centers – from $2 to $2.45.
  • Free-standing rural health clinic – from $2 to $2.45.
  • Home health services – from $3 to $3.65.
  • Hospital-based rural health center – from $2 to $2.45.

© 2011 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: budget shortfalls , Department of Community Health , Medicaid , PeachCare