Covid-19 Vaccination Costs to Strain State Medicaid Programs

Bloomberg Law

Getting millions of Covid-19 vaccine doses to the poorest adults in the country will require budget-conscious Medicaid plans to get creative with dwindling resources and a patchy health-care system not designed for mass inoculation.

But analysts say that increase probably won’t be enough for Medicaid plans to cover a new swath of people expected to sign up as their income level drops and the economic fallout of the pandemic continues. Plans also need to ensure vaccine reimbursement rates are high enough to induce providers to administer it. “The idea behind the Medicaid increase in March was to help shore up those programs, but the size of the increase was smaller than the increase enacted after the Great Recession,” Edwin Park, a policy research professor at Georgetown University, said. While the funding increase assures vaccine coverage, it also limits states’ abilities to find savings in their Medicaid program.

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