Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer presented her executive budget recommendation for fiscal year (FY) 2020 to the Legislature on March 5, 2019. While the focus of her budget presentation prioritized new funding for state infrastructure (roads, clean water) and education, the MHA was pleased to see that the solutions proposed to fund these priorities did not include making significant cuts to healthcare.
Budget Details and Messaging
Overall, the MHA is generally supportive of the FY 2020 executive budget recommendation and will continue to work with elected officials throughout the budget cycle on MHA Board-identified priorities, including improvements to the delivery of behavioral health services and securing adequate funding for critical access hospitals. However, the most important takeaway for the hospital community in the FY 2020 state budget relates to the continuation of the MHA Board-supported multi-year budget deal, an effort that began several years ago.
Key healthcare elements in the budget recommendation are as follows:
- Medicaid reimbursement rates remain the same.
- As a direct result of the efforts of the MHA Advocacy and Policy teams, the state has earmarked an additional $7 million for the Obstetrics Stabilization Fund and Rural Access Pool. While this is less than the $10 million received in last year’s budget, the governor’s office recognizes that the MHA will be advocating for an increase in state funding to $10 million again during the FY 2020 budget cycle. This funding is critical to ensuring that residents in small and rural communities throughout the state have access to a full range of healthcare services, including birthing care.
- Boilerplate language on the implementation of behavioral health integration pilot projects remains substantially similar to prior year language, an effort supported by the MHA.
- The state’s obligation for the Healthy Michigan Plan, Michigan’s Medicaid expansion program, is fully funded with a $75.1 million general fund increase. This funding reflects the phase in of the full 10% state match rate in FY 2020.
- The executive budget recommendation also includes an additional $10 million appropriation to ensure that Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries impacted by the work requirements legislation enacted last year have access to the employment supports needed to keep their coverage. In addition, the funding will also be used to provide the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services with the resources necessary to help beneficiaries comply with the new requirements.
Members with questions about the FY 2020 budget may contact Adam Carlson, senior director, Government & Political Affairs, or Chris Mitchell, executive vice president, Advocacy & Public Affairs, at the MHA.