New Mexico, Louisiana Lawmakers Worry About Medicaid Costs
In New Mexico, the price to cover lower-income residents is rising, while Louisiana lawmakers worry that savings associated with lowering the cost of a Medicaid expansion might not meet expectations.
The Associated Press:
New Mexico Lawmakers Worry About Climbing Medicaid Costs
The price tag for providing health care to hundreds of thousands of low-income New Mexicans is rising, and state lawmakers said Tuesday they are concerned future costs will be unsustainable as they work to balance the budget. New Mexico is one of the states that opted to expand Medicaid under the U.S. Affordable Care Act. Enrollments have surged beyond initial projections, and federal aid will soon be scaled back, putting more pressure on states to come up with the difference. (Bryan, 11/4)
New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Independent State Agency Questions Savings Expected In Medicaid Expansion Bills
Bills passed by the Legislature over the past two years aimed at lowering the cost of Medicaid expansion may not provide the savings expected, according to a warning issued by the Legislative Fiscal Office, an independent agency created to give lawmakers unbiased information. The warning Tuesday (Nov. 3) came as a surprise to Medicaid expansion advocates, who said the concerns raised by the Fiscal Office were never discussed at the time the legislation was being debated. The bills set up a mechanism that would allow Louisiana hospitals to be assessed a fee that would help offset the federal matching funds required for Medicaid expansion states in 2017. (Litten, 11/4)
Elsewhere, a Florida Medicaid managed care insurer reports higher earnings, and N.Y. authorities announce that two drug makers will pay states and the federal government to settle a case about Medicaid drug costs.
News Service Of Florida:
WellCare Sees Increase In Earnings
Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans, which manages care for about 800,000 people in Florida's Medicaid program, saw an increase in earnings during the third quarter of the year, according to a filing Wednesday with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. WellCare reported net income from July 1 to Sept. 30 of $36.4 million, or 82 cents per diluted share, up from $19.3 million, or 44 cents per diluted share, during the same period in 2014. (11/4)
The Associated Press:
$54M Settlement Reported In Probe Of Medicaid Drug Charges
State authorities have reported a $54 million settlement with drug companies to close an investigation into Medicaid overcharges. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Delaware-based AstraZeneca LP will pay 49 states and the federal government $46.5 million and Pennsylvania-based Cephalon Inc. will pay $7.5 million. The settlement resolves allegations the companies underpaid drug rebates to the states by treating certain fees paid to wholesalers as discounts. (11/4)