Medicaid Forecast Projects Approximately $1B Growth

November 17, 2015

The annual Medicaid forecast, which has been released by DBP, projects approximately $1 Billion growth (or “rising costs”) in Medicaid during the coming biennium.  While this seems to be provoking the expected political sparring over cause, methods of containment, and whether or not taking the still available option to “expand” Medicaid and draw down increased federal funds is a wonderful or terrible idea, it also has prompted a rising cry for increasing managed care. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch (17 November, 2015): “The highest-cost participants – the aged, blind and disabled – account for just 29% of enrollment and 68% of the costs.  Many of those participants receive expensive services for waiver programs that allow them to be served outside of institutions. The increasing cost of the program is likely to intensify pressure by the administration and assembly budget leaders to use managed care for waiver services, such as those provided to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, on a fixed per-month, per-person rate. ‘We’ve got to get the ID and DD (waiver) population in a managed care environment as well,’ [House Appropriations Committee Chair Delegate Chris] Jones said.”