WASHINGTON, 23 DECEMBER 2022 (PACIFIC ISLAND TIMES) — The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 released this week by the U.S Congress’ House and Senate appropriations committees extended the Medicaid funding for the U.S territories.

The bill permanently extends the 83 percent enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands, American Samoa and the U.S Virgin Islands and 76 percent enhanced FMAP for Puerto Rico for five years until 30 September 2027.  

Additionally, the bill creates Medicaid Data System Improvement Payments for Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Marianas Islands and the U.S Virgin Islands.  

These payments will be equal to 100 percent of the qualifying data system improvement expenditures incurred on or after 01 October 2023, up to a total cap of US$20 million equitably distributed across the four territories. 

“This bill will help us provide greater access to health care and critical health services to those in our community most in need, a hallmark goal of our administration. The increased funding will help us treat more Medicaid recipients and use more innovative approaches to expand Medicaid services,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.

“I want to recognise Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Soto, and Congressman Bilirakis who have been strong allies to the territories and have championed our needs for Medicaid in the Capitol.” 

Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio said securing this permanent funding solution provides hope to Medicaid patients that sufficient funding will be available for their healthcare needs. 

“I want to thank our Department of Public Health and Social Services and our sister territories for working together to collaborate efforts in maintaining a strong dialogue with the U.S Congress,” he said…. PACNEWS

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