Health care overhaul costs to counties offset by federal aid

Minnesota counties worried that the federal health care overhaul will bust their budgets are set tio get millions of dollars in additional federal funding.

The State Department of Human Services estimates the federal government will make available between $13 and $14 million a year for Minnesota counties to carry out the anticipated increase in people enrolling in Medicaid under the health care law.

Medicaid is a joint federal/state health insurance program that serves children, those with low incomes, and the disabled. The counties administer the program. The announcement comes amid reports some county officials are concerned about additional costs from enrolling newly eligible people.

DHS said the federal government will raise its matching grants from 50 percent to 75 percent for certain related costs starting in October. How much extra federal funding will be available to individual counties was not available.

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