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URGENT: Medicaid Expansion - Short Survey

Posted Date: 
Janaury 22, 2013
Harold Blattie, Executive Director, Montana Association of Counties

ATTN:  Commissioners and Clerks & Recorders

MACo has received a request for information about amounts that counties are budgeting for charity care and public health.  Charity care would be any amount the county budgets, whether expended directly of through another agency or organization for things that may not be covered under regular public assistance.  These would be the short-term costs dealing generally with urgent situations such as a tank of gas, meals, or lodging.

The public health costs are for any public health services that directly provide services to your residents either directly or through another agency or organization.  If you have a public health department, include all costs associated with the department.  If you provide a payment to another agency or organization such as a local hospital for your public health nurse, immunizations, etc. please report the payment amount budgeted for this year.

Following is a link to this very short survey:

We are learning that though Medicaid Expansion some of these costs will be eligible for reimbursement for the cost of services provided to newly eligible Medicaid recipients.  Under Medicaid Expansion anyone between 19 -64 whose income is below 138% of the poverty level is eligible for Medicaid.  For a single person that works out to around $29,000 of adjusted gross income and for a family of four it is around $7,000 of AGI.  It also includes persons who are incarcerated awaiting trial.  This new eligibility can be significant for your county in reducing in-hospital costs for inmates.

Medicaid Expansion is a completely new arena for MACo staff.  Because the state assumed welfare in 2001 counties have had little to do with federal programs so we really did not understand the connection to Medicaid Expansion. We are doing our best to get informed and gather information as quickly as possible because the legislature will be making important decisions in the weeks ahead.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Harold Blattie | | 406.449.4360