ANCOR News - 11.19.19

ANCOR Joins Letter Supporting Medicaid Funding for Puerto Rico, Territories

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As part of its work with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), ANCOR joined over 90 organizations in a letter to Congressional leadership expressing support for enhanced Medicaid funding for U.S. territories. As written in the letter:

“The undersigned organizations write to urge you to extend critical funding for the Medicaid programs in US territories including American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands by November 21.The expiration of current enhanced federal funding allotments and matching rates for the territories poses a significant threat to the health and well-being of territory residents who face coverage losses, barriers to access, and cuts to important health care benefits. If these enhanced funds are allowed to expire, territories will revert to the inadequate capped allotment that would devastate their budgets, access to health care, and, ultimately, patients’ health.

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Despite its importance, the Medicaid program in each of the territories has faced limitations and challenges. The territories have access to a limited amount of Medicaid funding that is available via a lower base matching rate than any state, and when the total federal funding for the year has been exhausted, the territory must use its own funds to pay the entire remaining cost of Medicaid health care services. Recognizing the importance of Medicaid funding for the territories, Congress made additional funds available from July 2011 through December 2019, and enabled a temporary 100% federal match from January 2018 through November 21, 2019.

Puerto Rico and the other territories are facing a dramatic cliff if increased Medicaid funding totals and federal matching rates are not extended.”