Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Providing Medicaid Services across State Boundaries

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Oct• 01•10

Although Medicaid receives significant federal funding, States run each program.  This often leads to problems when residents of one state wish to receive care in another state.  This could occur if the Medicaid beneficiary is a snow-bird, or lives in one state and works in another.  Hurricane Katrina, however, highlights best the problems of a state-run Medicaid system.

In September 2005, the Gulf of Mexico coast was devastated by the storm; nearly one million people living in Mississippi and Louisiana were forced to leave their homes,many relocated to another state.  Facing additional Medicaid costs because of these migrations, places such as Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi demanded federal assistance.  Instead of disbursing supplementary subsidies as needed, the Bush administration required state-by-state negotiations for emergency money through the waiver process.  Seventeen localities ultimately reached deals that allowed them to pay evacuees who met Medicaid eligibility criteria, fully funded by the federal government but only up to five months.”

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