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Medicaid Long-Term Care Spending Tops $106 Billion

Mindy Hartman's picture

Long-term care represents 32.1 percent of total Medicaid spending according to a new report. As costs rise, the program is raising serious budget problems for numerous states.

Total Medicaid expenditures for long-term care increased 3.8 percent in 2008 reaching a total of $106.4 billion. Medicaid is the nation's poverty program with expenses borne by federal and state taxpayers.

Institutional long-term care spending by the Medicaid program increased 2.9 percent in fiscal year 20908 to $61.0 billion according to the report issued by Thomson Reuters. Medicaid nursing home expenditures increased 4.1 percent to $49 billion.

"State governments don't have the ability to print money and taxpayers are having to pay an ever-increasing cost for long-term care services," explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. "If the trend continues, people can expect to see reduced services across the board as states are unable to sufficiently raise taxes to cover the increased cost."

New York State reported the largest total Medicaid expenditures for long-term care services. The total expenditures exceeded $18.4 billion. Other states with the largest annual taxpayer outlays included California ($10.0 billion); Pennsylvania ($6.4 billion); Texas ($5.1 billion); Ohio ($4.8 billion); Florida ($4.3 billion) and Illinois ($3.2 billion).

A number of states saw spending for institutional long-term care expenses paid for under the Medicaid program increase by as much as 86 percent. Medicaid's costs rose 86.1 percent in Mississippi. But even states like Florida saw a 64.1 percent increase. The smallest increase was Oregon at 25.2 percent.

Written by Mindy Hartman

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