Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

State Medicaid fund to receive an additional $95 million to help compensate loss of federal assistance

Delaware Legislative Hall
Delaware Public Media
Delaware Legislative Hall

Gov. John Carney is recommending the Department of Health and Social Services receive an 8.4% budget increase, with close to $95 million in Medicaid costs.

When the COVID-19 public health emergency ended in May 2023, the Medicaid enrollment increase in Delaware matched the nationwide peak at 32%.

DHSS is requesting $84.2 million to cover Medicaid inflation and volume issues to address the decrease in the Federal Matching Assistance Percentage post-pandemic.

The department is also requesting one-time supplemental funding totaling $10.4 million to address this shift in federal support, as well as to help with the increased eligibility redetermining caseload to be completed by July of this year.

Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance

State Medicaid Director Andrew Wilson explains the state has now begun the unwinding process in redetermining eligibility for over 300,000 Medicaid participants, and the additional funding will help with that process.

“With support of this budget, DMMA will be able to continue to provide benefits to over 250,000 Delawareans and sustain the investment made in long-term support services over the last several years," Wilson says.

The state’s total Medicaid spending has now reached over $1 billion, making up just under 16% of the state’s total operating budget.

Wilson also notes the disparities in Medicaid spending by population in Delaware.

While individuals with disabilities make up around 9% of people eligible for Medicaid, this demographic makes up over 30% of Medicaid spending, and Wilson points out similar inconsistencies.

“Children, on the other hand, represent about 37% of Medicaid population, but only account for approximately 18% of the expenditures.”

Carney opted not to fund a personal needs allowance increase for Medicaid recipients from a monthly total of $50 to $75.

DHSS Secretary Josette Manning says the department has found alternate funding to cover the $300,000 request.

Before residing in Dover, Delaware, Sarah Petrowich moved around the country with her family, spending eight years in Fairbanks, Alaska, 10 years in Carbondale, Illinois and four years in Indianapolis, Indiana. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2023 with a dual degree in Journalism and Political Science.