As the 1115 Medicaid Waiver Winds Down, What It Means for Your County if the State Doesn’t Craft a Texas Plan for Health Coverage in 2017

e6374106cd39121ab808f2d4_560x374As the Legislature prepares to address the expiring 1115 Medicaid Waiver, and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee holds a hearing Tuesday on the Waiver, let’s take a look at what’s at stake for the state and for your county.

With the stopgap Waiver extension expiring in 15 months, the state must craft a Texas plan to expand health coverage in 2017 in order to avoid a drastic cut in health care funding provided through the Waiver.

If the Waiver expires without a plan in place, Texas communities would face a $1.3 billion cut in health care funding in 2018 alone, according to the latest estimates by the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

The report includes estimated 2018 cuts (all funds) for all 254 Texas counties starting on page 11, including:

Bexar County – $207 million
Dallas County – $378 million
El Paso County – $86 million
Harris County – $494 million
Hidalgo County – $63 million
Lubbock County – $46 million
Smith County – $38 million
Tarrant County – $201 million
Travis County – $108 million

It’s important to clarify that — irrespective of any Waiver renewal agreements or Texas decisions on Medicaid expansion — federal funding will not be renewed for uncompensated care for Texans who could be covered through Medicaid expansion. Texas needs to replace those expiring funds before 2018.

Want to learn more? Take a look at this piece by the Houston Chronicle’s business columnist.

We look forward to working with state officials to ensure that Texas communities receive the health care funding they need in 2018 and beyond.

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