New Mexico – Gov. Bill Richardson's administration is proposing to overhaul Medicaid to cope with a projected budget shortfall of $300 million next year.
The state Human Services Department is looking at scaling back medical care services and eligibility to only those individuals that must be covered by federal law, such as lower-income pregnant women and children. Others would have an option to obtain health services by paying premiums and copays, depending on their income.
Medicaid covers a half million New Mexicans. Among those are children in families earning up to 235 percent of the federal poverty level, nearly $52,000 a year for a family of four. That standard is higher than federal requirements.
The department outlined their cost-cutting proposal to legislators on Thursday.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.