Ohio: Despite Enrollment Growth, State Medicaid Spending $2 Billion below Estimates

Ohio’s total Medicaid spending for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 was $23.5 billion, a figure 7.6% less than originally anticipated despite expanded Medicaid eligibility, the Governor's Office of Health Transformation reported. Overall, Medicaid expansion enrollment in Ohio exceeded estimates by 150,000 people, bringing the State’s number of Medicaid beneficiaries to 3 million. Several new cost-cutting initiatives, including capitated reimbursement policies and expanded managed care, and an automated eligibility system were credited with the lower-than-expected costs. Medicaid spending growth decreased from 4.6% in FY 2014 to 3% in FY 2015.

California: State Extends Full Medicaid Benefits to Pregnant Women

CMS approved California’s waiver request to extend full-scope Medicaid benefits to pregnant women with household incomes between 109% and 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). While the State previously expanded Medicaid to adults, including pregnant women, up to 138% FPL, California had historically provided only limited scope benefits to pregnant women. The approved waiver amendment also enables the State to require pregnant women up to 138% FPL to enroll in a managed care plan in counties where plans are available.

Alabama: Legislature Ends Special Session without Budget Agreement

The Alabama legislature ended its special session this week without passing a 2016 budget after the Senate rejected a House budget that would have cut Medicaid funding by $156 million. Governor Robert Bentley (R) said he will call a second special session before the start of the 2016 fiscal year on October 1.