Medicaid Changes

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The state's Medicaid costs is reaching $14 billion this year and legislators are looking for a way to save money.

Several state senators and representatives listened to ideas and complaints in Bay County Friday. One plan to fix the budget problem would move all Medicaid services under an HMO.

That doesn't sit well with the Bay County Council on Aging. Director Beth Coulliette says dozens of services would be in jeopardy if the Legislature moves to HMOs.

Beth says, "That would basically wipe out the local service providers. The local dollars that come as donations to the local service providers, they are then added to the services. There's a million statewide that are generated by local service providers would be gone. Those donations won't go to a for-profit company."

Supporters say the move to HMOs would save the state around $250 million. Legislators hope to pass some sort of Medicaid reform in the upcoming session.