Massachusetts: Governor’s Budget Proposal Seeks to Constrain Medicaid Spending

Governor Charlie Baker (R) released his $38 billion budget, proposing to curb the projected growth of MassHealth from 16.0% to 5.6% in fiscal year 2016. Of the approximately $761 million in cuts to the Medicaid program, the Governor estimates over a quarter of the savings will come from eligibility reviews of more than 1.2 million enrollees, reports the Boston Herald. These redeterminations are required by the federal government, but have not been completed since October 2013. The budget also provides $174 million to implement adult dental benefits and Applied Behavioral Analysis services for children with autism, and seeks additional savings by limiting opioid prescriptions to two weeks and maintaining current nursing home reimbursement rates. The only benefit reduction included in the budget is the elimination of chiropractic services and is estimated to save the state $300,000.

North Carolina: Budget Proposal Includes Modest Increase in Medicaid Spending, No Expansion

Governor Pat McCrory’s (R) 2015 budget proposal, totaling $21.5 billion, includes almost $3.8 billion in funding for Medicaid, an increase of 2.9% from last year’s $3.7 billion dollar spend. This increase reflects the State’s projections that nearly 70,000 people will discover they are eligible for Medicaid as they attempt to enroll in coverage through the Marketplace. Governor McCrory acknowledged that his administration continues to look “at [other states’] plans,…at what waivers were given,…at what waivers we think we’d need to have a North Carolina plan,” but that Medicaid expansion, and the source for the State’s costs, remains an uncertainty.