Spending Hike Less Than Previous Budget
By Laurel White
Medicaid costs are expected to grow again in the next state budget, but the increase will be less than in recent years.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is requesting a $450 million funding increase to cover Medicaid spending in the next biennial budget.
In her agency’s biennial budget request, state Department of Health Services Secretary Linda Seemeyer called the sum “a significant amount of funding” and “by far, the largest component of the department of health services budget.” She added, however, “this increase is small by historical standards.”
The last three budgets called for amounts ranging from $650 million to $1.6 billion for Medicaid increases.
State budget expert Jon Peacock from the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families said the relative decrease is thanks to $260 million in savings DHS was able to identify in the current budget.
“It’s really great news, because that offsets disappointing state tax collections this year, and it also holds down the Medicaid spending growth in the next two-year budget,” Peacock said.
Peacock said the Medicaid savings are thanks to an increased federal reimbursement rate, a decline in BadgerCare enrollment and slowing growth in long-term care costs.
Wisconsin Public Radio, © Copyright 2016, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.