Idaho Health and Welfare seeks $3.7 billion overall budget

Idaho Health and Welfare seeks $3.7 billion overall budget

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The Idaho Capitol rotunda in Boise.

BOISE (AP) — The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare on Monday asked for an additional $70 million from the general fund and $300 million overall that includes federal money for an 8.7% increase in next year's budget.

Director Dave Jeppesen told the Legislature's budget-setting committee that the large increase is due to Medicaid expansion that went into effect Jan. 1.

State officials estimate about 90,000 low-income Idaho residents will qualify for the expansion at a cost of about $400 million. The state is required to pay 10%, or about $40 million, with the federal government covering the remaining 90%.

About 60,000 people have so far signed up for coverage under expanded Medicaid coverage.

Jeppesen's request would boost the agency's budget to about $930 million from general funds.

The agency would also receive about $330 million in dedicated funds from such things as fees and licenses plus another $2.4 billion from the federal government for an overall budget of about $3.7 billion.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little is recommending an additional $40 million from the general fund that, combined with federal money, would result in an overall increase of 8%.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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