MAY 1, 2013

In case you missed it: Legislative budget staff amends its own forecast for Medicaid expenses

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PHOENIX – The Joint Legislative Budget Committee recently revised its estimates for the cost of maintaining coverage for childless adults on AHCCCS.

The new estimates are available here.

According to JLBC, the cost to use state-only dollars in maintaining coverage for 63,000 existing AHCCCS members now totals $880 million over three years.

Here’s the State cost breakdown: FY’14 ($266.2M); FY’15 ($329.5M); FY’16 ($284M).

This is critical because the federal government provided definitive guidance today that Arizona WILL NOT be eligible to continue receiving 2-to-1 federal matching dollars if the state maintains its current freeze on AHCCCS enrollment of childless adults.

So, again – by legislative budget staff’s own estimates – the cost of foregoing the Governor’s Medicaid Restoration Plan and maintaining AHCCCS coverage with state-only dollars would total $880 million over three years. This would effectively drain the Rainy Day Fund ($450M) twice over.

When Governor Brewer announced her Medicaid Restoration Plan in January, she asked legislators to “weigh the evidence and do the math.” With these new cost estimates from JLBC, the math in favor of the Governor’s plan is clearer than ever.

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