Last Piece of Puzzle in Place

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

House and Senate negotiators Wednesday night signed off on the last piece of a plan to keep Medicaid financially solvent the rest of this budget year.

The plan is expected to come up for a vote of the full House and Senate Thursday. It outlines some cuts in optional Medicaid services including a reduction in the number of prescriptions.

Legislators met in an unusual special session over the weekend and agreed to take money out of the state health care trust fund to cover most of Medicaid's $268 million shortfall for the year that ends June 30.

The cost-cutting plan coming up for a vote Thursday should help cover the rest of the shortfall, and supporters say it will help Medicaid with long-term savings in future budget years.

One of the cost-cutting proposals is to limit Medicaid recipients to five prescriptions a month with no more than two of those being brand name drugs.

Current policy allows up to seven prescriptions filled per month; five with no questions asked and two with permission from Medicaid. The drugs can be name brand or generic.

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