WASHINGTON (Feb. 23, 2009)—In a meeting Monday morning with the Nations governors, President Obama announced that the first installment of $15 billion in Medicaid assistance to states under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be made available on Wednesday, February 25. The $15 billion accounts for two of the nine quarters of relief called for under the bill, and includes $275,508,598 of the estimated $1.2 billion in total Medicaid funding for Maryland through 2010.
Now that the economic recovery legislation has been signed into law, it is critical that we work quickly to get elements of the plan into the economy as soon as possible, stated Rep. Hoyer. I am pleased that President Obama has wasted no time in releasing the funds to help states provide health care to those struggling the most in this economic downturn. This means that Maryland can begin to tap its share of Medicaid relief as soon as Wednesday in order to avoid cuts in essential services for Marylanders who rely on this program for health coverage.
According to a White House press release, The first two quarters of FY 2009 funding for states has been set up in special Treasury accounts so that states, the District of Columbia, and the territories can start drawing down on those funds. This special, temporary increase in funding will be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The release also stated that, States will need to meet Medicaid eligibility requirements outlined in the law to receive the new funding. CMS will be working with the States to ensure they meet the requirements as long as they wish to access the increased in Medicaid funding.
The Medicaid funding is part of a federal match known as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) that helps states provide health care for its most vulnerable citizens. More than 20 million Americans nationwide rely on Medicaid for health care coverage.
Source: Office of Rep. Steny Hoyer