Do Government Shutdowns Affect Medicaid Benefits?
Some of our clients have asked recently how, if at all, would a ‘government shutdown’ affect their Medicaid benefits for, among other things, long-term care. The short answer is it wouldn’t, at least not directly. The reason is due to the source of the funding for Medicaid and the nature of the shutdown. The Federal government endured a partial shutdown from December 22, 2018, until January 25th, 2019. It was not a complete shutdown. This distinction is important as it means essential government programs remain unaffected, including Medicaid. The Medicaid program is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is fully funded through at least September 30, 2019.
Medicaid is administered in the State of Texas by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). That means the HHSC is responsible for running the Medicaid program in Texas, i.e., receiving, processing, and evaluating applications for Medicaid assistance, processing payments to providers, etc. HHSC is an agency of the State of Texas and is not currently affected by the federal government shutdown. However, as Medicaid is a federally-funded program, should the federal government shutdown continue past September 30, 2019, the Medicaid program would then become unfunded, which would most likely result in an HHSC shutdown. However, a protracted shutdown seems unlikely as the pressure to end the stalemate causing it will likely overcome the political wills of those responsible for it.
For more discussion on this issue, take a look at this article https://ccf.georgetown.edu/2019/01/04/what-does-the-partial-government-shutdown-mean-for-medicaid-and-chip/ and the others referenced in it. And if you have any questions, feel free to call us at 469-893-5337 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.