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North Carolina Medicaid projected to be $408M under budget — 6 insights

North Carolina Medicaid expenditures were nearly $6.5 billion at the halfway point of fiscal year 2018, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. Here are six insights.

1. The state spent about $14 billion on Medicaid annually in recent years.

2. If expenditures remain below budget through the end of the fiscal year, it will be the fourth consecutive year under budget.

3. Enrollment in North Carolina's Medicaid program reached 1.96 million in January 2017. That number could rise to 2.1 million by May, but enrollment has been below expectations.

4. There has been a decrease in nearly every Medicaid expenditure category, including physician payments and state supplemental Medicaid payments to hospitals. The former dropped 7 percent; the latter declined 4.5 percent.

5. The cost of settlement agreements had the most significant drop, from $101.5 million to $13.2 million

6. North Carolina's Republican legislative leaders seem unlikely to pursue Medicaid expansion due to skepticism about the federal government's pledge to cover 90 percent of administrative costs of expansion. A 2017 study predicted the state could lose out on $13 billion in federal Medicaid funding over the next decade if it doesn't expand.

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