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  • By Amanda Dedicatoria

Only $4.2M left in Medicaid fund

Guam is running out of the federal funds it needs to cover the health care costs for adults who qualify for medicaid. All of the Medicaid funding allocated to Guam under Obamacare is now gone.

In addition Guam’s annual federal allotment of $18 million medicaid dollars for Guam is not expected to last much beyond Christmas, unless Congress acts to expand medicaid support for Guam and the other territories.

There’s only about $4.2 million left in federal funding for adults who use Medicaid to fund their trips to the clinic.

This funding, which has no local match, was made available through a Continuing Resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives just last week and will last until Dec. 20, 2019.

According to Tess Arcangel, the Public Welfare Administrator of the Department of Public Health and Social Services, the depletion of this funding is contingent on how many claims are processed by the agency.

She also adds that Public Health is up to date on processing its claims and is now going through its claims for the month of November and that it is normal if the funding were to be depleted within the next three months.

But in the event that the funds are spent more quickly than anticipated and there’s no additional funding, residents would still be eligible for the Medically Indigent Program.

“You need to take into consideration that we have the MIP program and that’s 100 percent local. So if we terminate some of those patients under Medicaid … let’s say that there’s no additional funding … they’re all qualified under MIP,” Arcangel said.

As for Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, she says that the status of Medicaid funding for Guam after Dec. 20 is still undetermined.

“It depends on whether they change the budget or if they continue again. I don’t know how soon we’ll have a budget that’s approved. My guess is that it’ll be a continuing resolution maybe in the first quarter of next year,” the governor said.

However, she says that she will continue to work with the federal government to provide a matching calculation for Guam that is equal to that of the states.

“I am working very hard and very diligently to lift our cap for Medicaid and to get a matching calculation that is the same for the other states per capita … per income. So that’s my wish. That’s the work we have to do in DC,” the governor said. (PNC)

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