Health Care Budget

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The Michigan Dept. of Community Health worked with the governor to balance this portion of the budget. Instead of cutting payments to Medicaid providers or reducing Medicaid eligibility, the governor's recommendations restructured the Medicaid program using a waiver of federal rules.

The Elder Prescription Insurance Coverage (EPIC) with tobacco settlement dollars has assisted 15,000 low-income seniors with prescription medications. This upcoming fiscal year, EPIC will be extended to 42,000 seniors, nearly tripling the number of beneficiaries.

The governor has also recruited Vermont, Wisconsin and South Carolina for a multi-state purchasing collaboration to keep Medicaid pharmaceutical costs where they are. More states are expected to join the collaboration and it should generate $40 million in savings.

Of most importance, there will be no reduction in payments to those serving Medicaid patients. For example, any doctor, hospital, or nursing home providing care to a Medicaid patient will continue to get the same amount of payments from the state.

Healthy adults will see the biggest change in benefits. The Medicaid Adult Benefit Waiver limits medical benefits for healthy adults, but this waiver should reduce state general fund costs by almost $110 million.

More on the Health Care budget: