Healthcare important issue for legislators

West Virginia Pharmacists Association will brief member/pharmacists about the State’s financial welfare and health care issues of importance to pharmacy during the Legislature’s 60-day session.

In FY 2020, Medicaid’s total federal and state expenditures are estimated to be $4.5 billion. Of this total, $3.3 billion is federal share, while about $1.2 billion is the state share. Medicaid appropriations in FY 2020 from General Revenue, Lottery, Medical Services Trust Fund, the Provider Tax, and other State Certified Match make up the state share. (WVPA successfully lobbied against pharmacies paying the onerous provider tax.)

Medicaid recipients for the fiscal year just ended (FY 2019) where higher than estimated. Because of the surplus cash balance at the end of FY 2019 in the state’s Medicaid matching funds, the Governor recommends no increase for FY 2020 in base funding in the General and Lottery funds for Medicaid, keeping the total of General and Lottery base funding at $731 million.

Increased funding has been proposed to help with drug abuse, foster care, children’s mobile crisis wrap around services, the veterans’ nursing home, the state office of cannabis, health right, and a senior service rate provider increase.

Governor Justice’s State of the State Summary included: revenue problems have subsided; state budget is healthier; raises for teachers and public school teachers proposed; and increased funding for PEIA also proposed.

West Virginia ended FY 2018 with a General Revenue surplus of $36.1 million, with half transferred to the State Rainy Day Fund. Rainy Day funds continue to be among the best in the country — over $718.6 million as of December 31, 2018, which is 16.34%of General Revenue. FY 2020 revenue estimates are 2.05% above current year estimates. FY 2020 proposed expenditures are 1.73% above total current fiscal year expenditures.

State Worker’s Compensation unfunded liability was retired December 31, 2018. Medicaid program ended FY 2018 with a healthy cash balance.