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Feds Help States Qualify For More Medicaid Dollars

The Obama administration on Friday released guidance to states on how they can increase their Medicaid funding by eliminating copays for certain preventive services, including immunizations.

The provision of the Affordable Care Act was slated to take effect Jan. 1. States that implement the changes can apply for the funding retroactive to that date.

The specified preventive services are those assigned a grade of either ‘A’ or ‘B’ by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, as well as the administration of vaccines recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

The Medicaid program is administered by the states but partially funded by the federal government. States can apply for the 1 percentage point increase in their federal Medicaid matching rate for those preventive services.

Tennessee Medicaid Director Darin Gordon said his state intends to apply for the extra funding, but he estimates it will be a relatively small amount: less than $100,000 per year. Most states Medicaid budgets are in the billions of dollars.

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