Arizona?s Medicaid options

July 11, 2012

Two experts explain the current options that surround Arizona’s Medicaid program, AHCCCS, and how the Affordable Care Act will affect the program.

Sue Gerard, former director of the State Department of Health Services and current member of the board of the Maricopa Integrated Health System, says the current system is a bridge plan to keep the system running until 2014. She says Arizona chose a system of coverage based around keeping people healthy, so they’ve been able to offer a range of services that look generous but are really based on efficiency. Gerard says if the state opts out of the Affordable Care Act expansion of Medicaid there won’t be any relief when they reach the end of the line in 2014.

Monica Coury is the deputy director of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS. She says right now they’re carefully looking at Arizona’s options for a federal partnership. Coury says the plan was to have an expanded program by 2014, but that may change as they figure out what the best move is.

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