The health care program for over 540,000 West Virginians is operating on a narrow
margin, and in some instances at a deficit, according to financial reports disclosed
at Medicaid’s Medical Services Advisory Council meeting, June 3.
Dr. Carol Buffington and Executive Director Richard Stevens represented WVDA at
the meeting. It meets four times a year as required by federal law. It is composed
of representatives of services covered by Medicaid, and advises the agency about
health care expenses.
As of March 31, Medicaid had a cash balance of $14 million, $50 million less than
a year ago. It has received $123 million less in revenues than last year, and has
depleted $100 million of its reserve fund, according to agency financial officials.
They said declining state revenues are contributors to inadequate funding of the
program which has grown in recipients since expansion started in 2014. Over
170,000 people have been enrolled in Medicaid during the expansion.
Total Medicaid expenditures including federal matching funds grew from $3.720
billion in 2015 to $4.123 billion in 2016, The federal share of these expenditures
averaged 74% in 2015 and 75% thus far in 2016. The federal match rate will
increase in 2017 because of the State’s declining economy. West Virginia has
the second highest federal match of any state in the U. S.
Expenditures for dental services were $31,430,204 in 2015.