Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) said he wants all U.S. territories to form a united front with regards to the Federal Medical Assistance Percentages on Medicaid.
“I want to work with delegates from Guam, American Samoa, and Virgin Islands to push for our joined-in-the-hips issue on the FMAP issue on Medicaid. While right now we’re 45-55, sometimes because of the adjustments new enrollees are covered by federal 70 and local is lower 30s and upper 20s,” he said.
FMAP are the percentage rates used to determine the matching funds rate allocated annually to certain medical and social service programs in the U.S.
Aside from Sablan, who won a fourth term in the Nov. 4 general elections, incoming nonvoting delegates from U.S. territories in the 114th U.S. Congress include Madeleine Bordallo of Guam, Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, and Aumua Amata of American Samoa.
The CNMI nonvoting delegate said he needs to work with his three colleagues on the Medicaid issue and hopefully will get the support of other representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“We need to start looking at 2019 when the monies for the CNMI and our colleagues from the territories expire. That’s something we have to start as early as possible. We just got an assurance from New Jersey congressman Frank LoBiondo that he will help us in our effort.”
The number of Medicaid clients in the CNMI has climbed to nearly 15,000 individuals in fiscal year 2014, according to CNMI Department of Public Health’s Medicaid Office administrator Helen Sablan.
She said a total of 14,856 applicants and their dependents applied for Medicaid benefits covering the period from Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 24, 2014. Of this number of applications, only a total of 5,589 were approved.
FMAP eligible programs are joint federal-state partnerships between the federal government of the United States and state governments, which are administered by the states. Thus
Funds that are eligible for FMAP match include Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) expenditures, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Contingency Funds, the Federal share of Child Support Enforcement collections, and Child Care Mandatory and Matching Funds of the Child Care and Development Fund.