Stimulus funds sought for Medicaid

(AP) " Nevada's human services chief said Tuesday that the state will get about $84 million in stimulus funds in the next few days thanks to a boost in the federal matching rate for Medicaid.

Mike Willden said the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, or FMAP, funds include about $44 million to be applied to the calendar quarter that ended Dec. 31, and the rest for the quarter that ended March 31.

The FMAP funds represent Medicaid costs covered by the federal government. Nevada's FMAP had been set at 50 percent, but the stimulus package temporarily increased that to about 64 percent, resulting in the additional money.

Willden said the money will cover increased costs in Medicaid and other state programs, which eliminates the need for legislative action on supplemental appropriations that had been scheduled for consideration.

Nevada will get the increased FMAP through late 2010. The Division of Health Care Financing and Policy estimates the increase will mean a $164 million boost in federal aid to the state in the next two fiscal years.

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