Health Care Costs and Enrollment Surge Fuel Ohio Medicaid Budget Shortfall
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced last week that the state will have to allocate an additional $249 million to its Medicaid program after health cost increases and re-enrollments created a budget shortfall. The total shortfall stands at $648 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Department spokesperson Jon Allen attributed the shortfall to increased expenses in caring for elderly and disabled Medicaid beneficiaries, as well as the cost of re-enrolling people who mistakenly believed they were ineligible for Medicaid after being dropped from the state's welfare rolls. While Allen said that "no specific programs" have been developed "to prevent future Medicaid shortfalls," state Sen. Eric Fingerhut (D) has scheduled a "series of hearings with Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee to discuss the shortfall" (AP/Dayton Daily News, 11/28). On Nov. 16, the state Senate unaminously passed a bill authorizing the increased funds, and a House vote is expected this week (McCarthy, Associated Press, 11/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.