State needs $23.5M this year for Medicaid |

State needs $23.5M this year for Medicaid

Appeal Capitol Bureau

Nevada’s Medicaid budgets need an infusion of $23.5 million more to finish this year.

For weeks, Health Care Financing and Policy administrator Charles Duarte and other Human Resources officials have been warning lawmakers the added costs for this fiscal year and the next biennium could end up as high as $65 million.

The totals he presented Monday were less than that but still more than $50 million when increases for the next two years are calculated.

Duarte said $16.9 million is needed this year to continue making weekly payments to health-care providers. Without that money, he said, they won’t be able to make payments through the end of the fiscal year.

Another $5.8 million, he said, will provide the budget with enough of an ending fund balance to cover cash flow needs so they don’t end up temporarily in the red. And he said $774,000 is necessary to cover bills for the next two months in Nevada Checkup.

Senate Finance Chairman Bill Raggio, R-Reno, and the rest of the panel voted to ask for a supplemental appropriation to cover the total $23.5 million.

Duarte said the latest projections will require lawmakers add $11.5 million to the fiscal 2006 budget and $18.5 million to the 2007 budget.

Those increases will be handled when the committee closes the governor’s proposed biennial budget in the next three weeks.

Altogether, the amendments will require increasing Medicaid and Nevada Checkup budgets by $53.6 million.