CARSON CITY, NV – May 12, 2021
On Wednesday, Nevada legislators considered new revenue projections for the State and voted to restore more than $301 million in funding to Medicaid; approximately $125 million this fiscal year and $176 million over the upcoming biennium (2021-2023). The cuts no longer appear necessary to deal with a severe budget shortfall.
“Encouraging news from the Economic Forum shows that the State is now projected to have enough revenue to avoid the anticipated cuts,” said Governor Steve Sisolak. “Medical providers have been on the front lines of the pandemic for more than a year, enduring untold stress, both financial and emotional. Restoring provider reimbursement rate cuts will help these small businesses and hospitals that have done so much to keep hard-working Nevadans healthy during this pandemic.”
During the 31st Special Session of the Nevada Legislature, lawmakers approved reducing reimbursements to providers by 6% for services. That would trigger decreased federal funds for the Nevada Medicaid program. The reduced reimbursements pose financial challenges to medical providers including hospitals, laboratory and specialty clinics. More than 800,000 Nevadans rely on these services from Medicaid.
Medicaid requires a federal-state funding partnership and changes to funding require approval from the federal agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The approval process led to long delays and would have required retroactive cuts to medical providers to realize budgetary savings that are no longer necessary.
“We worked day and night to comply with budgetary reductions from the 31st Special Session,” said Nevada Medicaid Administrator Suzanne Bierman. “However, we are pleased that these cuts are no longer necessary.”
The vote to restore Medicaid rates was held by the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance, Subcommittees on Human Services. The budget amendment does not become final until enacted by the full Legislature and Governor.
Nevada Medicaid is state and federally-funded health insurance program, which supports minimum wage workers, low-income families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities. It offers financial protection for working families to avoid bankruptcy when struck by unexpected illness. Nevada Medicaid makes health care possible in rural communities. Apply at https://accessnevada.dwss.nv.gov/. If your income is too high to qualify for Medicaid, you may apply for other insurance at NevadaHealthLink.com or call 1-800-547-2927.