Six months into the budget, the Department of Health Services is projecting the Medicaid fund to finish the 2021-23 biennium with a surplus of $184.9 million in general purpose revenue.

That’s up from September’s projection of a $39.4 million surplus.

In a letter to the Joint Finance co-chairs yesterday, DHS Secretary Karen Timberlake attributed the projected surplus to several factors. The most significant was the federal government extending the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration.

That action extends until March an enhanced federal matching rate for Medicaid expenditures.

It also requires the state to provide continuous coverage to individuals in the program even if they, for example, temporarily have income that exceeds normal eligibility requirements or fail to respond to a notice seeking information. Even with the higher enrollment numbers, the net impact is a surplus of $116 million.

See the letter here.

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