Louisiana Medicaid program running under-budget this year

Cropped Photo: MGN Photo / MGN

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Louisiana’s Medicaid program is spending at a slower pace than expected this budget year and could have a surplus in six months if expenditures remain on their current path.

The latest forecast released this week shows the government-financed health program may spend as much as $650 million less than projected for the budget year that began July 1.

Most of that amount will be unused federal spending authority – not dollars that can be allocated to other state government programs and services. But the Department of Health says about $30 million of the amount, if the trends remain on track, would be a state general fund surplus that could be spent elsewhere in state government.

Much of the less-than-expected spending is in the Medicaid expansion program that began last year.

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