Officials with the state Department of Health and Human Services say they still expect a Medicaid shortfall of between $120- and $140-million this year. They spoke before state lawmakers today in a committee meeting at the General Assembly.
They first predicted a shortfall of this size about three weeks ago, and it's less than budget overruns of previous years. Republican Representative Nelson Dollar of Cary says that's good news.
"The 2010 budget that was passed by the last majority had a half a billion dollar hole in it in Medicaid," said Dollar. "That created problems. And there were hundreds of millions of dollars that at the time that were off budget. We have fixed those problems."
State officials say half of the projected shortfall is connected to delays in reimbursements to health providers and enrollment increases. Lawmakers have long complained that the past inability to accurately predict Medicaid shortfalls have wreaked havoc with drawing up the state's budget.