Medicaid Block Grants Expected to Help with Aging Population, Increased Costs

Last week, the Medicaid block grant program was announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The program is expected to help address the increased costs associated with the aging population in the U.S. Since Medicaid is the largest payer of long-term care and costs for the Baby Boomer generation are expected to rise 500% by 2050, aging poses a threat to Medicaid’s sustainability.

 

With the block grant program, states can apply to receive federal Medicaid funding per enrollee or as a lump sum to cover all expenses. The program is designed for continued flexibility with Medicaid spending while also ensuring the funds are used efficiently.

 

Since the Obamacare expansion of the program, about 15 million new working-age adult enrollees have been added to the program. Medicaid was not intended for this group, and spending growth rates are expected to be higher for them than others. Plus, recent audits have revealed many states’ practices for verifying eligibility are far too lax.

 

Despite program expectations, senior housing and skilled nursing facility leaders are concerned. Many have expressed they are committed to ensuring care and services for older adults are not affected by the change.

 

Read the full article from McKnight’s Senior Living.

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