Bill aims to boost CNMI’s Medicaid funding to $90M
Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP) introduced Thursday a legislation that would effectively increase the CNMI’s Medicaid funding from $66 million to $90 million.
Sablan stated in his e-kilili newsletter over the weekend that H.R. 3260, or the Northern Mariana Islands Medicaid Equivalence Act, provides a Medicaid grant to the Marianas that matches that of American Samoa—a territory with virtually the same population and income levels.
H.R. 3260 seeks to amend Title XI of the Social Security Act. The legislation was referred to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Sablan said the bill is a continuation of his efforts to correct the historical disparity in Medicaid funding that began when the CNMI had no voice in Congress. Sablan said the bill is also a response to the projected financial shortfall in Medicaid funding that Gov. Arnold I. Palacios reported to him last month.
Acting Commonwealth Medicaid Agency director Vicenta Borja had informed Palacios in a letter dated April 4, 2023, that she projects the agency to experience a financial shortfall estimated at $4.8 million and it is just a matter of when this will occur.
Borja said the amount may change due to the interim monthly payments made to the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. using the Certified Public Expenditure methodology.
While Medicaid funding for fiscal year 2023 has already been allotted, Sablan said his new proposed legislation would help ensure that Medicaid enrollees in the Marianas would have reliable access to federally funded healthcare in future years.