PHOENIX – Enrollment in Arizona’s Medicaid program is surging because of the recession, with costly implications for the already troubled state budget.
The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System reports that enrollment grew by nearly 102,000 from April 2008 to April 2009, an increase of 11 percent. The increase in April alone was 21,000.
AHCCCS’ budget administrator, Jeffery Tegen, said in a memo distributed this week to Gov. Jan Brewer’s budget staff and the Legislature that the increase is due mostly to “the economic downturn and subsequent job losses.”
Tegen’s memo says the increase will add $253 million of spending to the next state budget, which will cover the fiscal year starting July 1. That budget already faces a projected $3 billion shortfall.