The Governor’s midterm budget adjustment proposals include maintaining the increase in primary care provider rates that began last year costing the state $15 million in FY 2015 and $36 million in future years. The Affordable Care Act provided full federal funding to cover the cost of those rate increases for 2013 and 2014 only. Those rate increases have been critical to improving provider participation in the program. Advocates were concerned about sustaining improved access to care if the rates dropped back to lower levels.
The Governor also added significant funding for the SIM project
adding $3.2 million to the Office of Health Care Advocate to hire 10.5 positions and $65,000 to the Office of State Comptroller for one new position. The administration intends to move forward with SIM payment and delivery model changes regardless of whether CT is awarded more federal funds. This would more than double the Office of Health Care Advocate’s budget.
The Governor also proposed $3.1 million in new funding for a Governor’s Mental Health Initiative including rental assistance, supportive services, crisis intervention training for law enforcement personnel, and an anti-stigma campaign.
The Governor also proposed enhancing fraud detection and enforcement, adding two positions to the State Dept. on Aging, expanding the Katie Beckett waiver to serve children with severe disabilities, and expanding the CT Home Care Program for Adults with Disabilities. He also proposed exempting non-prescription drugs from sales tax.