Medicaid looks for $44 million in additional funds

Medicaid looks for $44 million in additional funds

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama's Medicaid agency will look for an estimated $44 million this legislative session.

Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar answered questions from lawmakers in the preliminary budget hearings on Monday.

However, the $44 million number could change based off of what happens in Washington D.C..

"We need to make sure we are at the table and make sure the state doesn't end up in a worse position from a financial standpoint," Azar said.

Azar said she is optimistic the possible changes could help the state's Medicaid problems but said a block grant system done the wrong way could be disastrous.

State lawmakers will also have to decide what to do with the state's transition to regional care organizations. The transition's goal would be to control the rising cost of Medicaid.

Alabama has already received a federal wavier to implement the program and bring in more than $740 million.

The RCO's were supposed to be implemented last year but delays pushed the implementation to this year.

If lawmakers are unable to find the funding to implement the program, Azar said it would go away, and so would the money attached to the federal wavier.

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