Governor’s proposed budget adjustments – one major health change

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The Governor’s proposals to adjust the current biennial budget include changes to LIA (the former SAGA program). When SAGA was merged into Medicaid in 2010, creating LIA, the asset limit of $1,000 was removed. Since that time enrollment has grown significantly due in part to removing the asset limit (the economy doubtless had something to do with it as well). Because program costs are now matched by the federal government, significant new revenues came into the General Fund. While enrollment growth has moderated, the Governor is proposing re-imposing a more generous $25,000 asset limit, and counting family income for applicants under age 26 living with a parent or claimed as a dependent for taxes. He has also proposed unspecified limits on medical services. The changes would save $22.5 million in the next fiscal year. In 2014, those applicants will become eligible for Medicaid anyway under national reform.

Other proposals include changes to who can administer medications, expanding childhood vaccinations, cost of living increases for private providers, expanding Money Follows the Person, among others.
Ellen Andrews