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Mon Feb 4, 2019, 06:06 PM

As Tennessee's economy improves, TennCare gets more expensive

What’s the opposite of a silver lining?

State officials expect to spend tens of millions more on TennCare in coming years as Tennessee’s improving economy leads to incremental decreases in federal funding for the state Medicaid program, according to budget numbers made public this week.

Currently, TennCare is Tennessee’s most expensive government agency, but the federal government pays for more than 65 percent of the costs. That funding is based on the average income throughout the state, so as Tennessee’s booming economy boosts salaries, the feds will pay for a smaller and smaller share TennCare costs.

The results of those changes were revealed Tuesday during a hearing with Gov. Bill Lee, who has spent several days reviewing projected budgets with every state agency. Gabe Roberts, director of TennCare, told Lee that the federal government would reduce its spending on TennCare by about .5 percent in the upcoming fiscal year, leaving a $41 million “hole” in Tenncare’s budget.

Read more: https://www.dnj.com/story/news/health/2019/01/30/tenncare-budget-federal-funding-tennessee-economy/2720398002/

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