The Senate released a proposed budget of $20.58 billion for FY 2013-2015.  $5 billion of this total is allotted the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Medicaid is a major factor that causes DHHS to eat up almost a quarter of the proposed budget.  Here are just a few reasons why:

First, $434 million funds Medicaid itself, adjusting for changes in enrollment, mix of enrollment, consumption, new service and new policy.

Second, despite the fact that North Carolina has rejected Medicaid expansion, Obamacare still mandates increased Medicaid enrollment under some of its specific provisions – or else the state faces a penalty for non-coverage and outreach efforts.  This means that 70,000 new Medicaid eligibles will “come out of the woodwork”, accounting for an additional $50 million. 

Third, Obamacare also mandates the transference of all children under 133% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) from Health Choice to Medicaid.  North Carolina Health Choice is a free or reduced price comprehensive health care program that provides services to children of families who are neither financially eligible for Medicaid nor can afford private coverage.  To qualify for Health Choice, a family’s income must be less than 200% FPL.  This means that another 51,000 recipients will enroll in NC Medicaid, accounting for another $22 million.

Fourth, almost $60 million funds Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), North Carolina’s lone medical home model that provides benefits and services to Medicaid beneficiaries statewide. This portion funds patient reporting and tracking to CCNC care management and its primary care physicians.

If you are interested in more information on the senate budget, read here and here.

If you are really interested in combing through the fine details of the Senate Budget Health and Human Services Section, click here.