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Medicaid provisions for Am Samoa move forward in Fed funding bill

King Young sends a big faafetai lava to Amata and other delegates

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — American Samoa Medicaid State Agency, director Sandra King Young is applauding efforts by Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata, and other congressional delegates and representatives for their support in moving forward Medicaid provisions for American Samoa and other U.S territories.

In a statement yesterday morning, King Young said that it was Monday night that Congressional appropriators released legislative language for the federal FY 2023 omnibus appropriations bill.

The legislation includes several Medicaid provisions, “most notably including extensions of the U.S Territories’ Medicaid funding and a start date for initiating Medicaid redeterminations,” she said, adding that the territories are proposed to receive permanent Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) of 83% in the FY2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.

"We are thankful to the Congressional committees, staff, our Delegate and all the Territorial Delegates for helping to get us to this point, where Congress is proposing to make an adjustment to the territories’ FMAP to a permanent 83% FMAP in the omnibus bill that would now be fairly aligned to national poverty formula calculations for the territories,” she said.

“I am very proud of the work we have done together with the committees of jurisdiction and the territorial Delegates, first from increasing the territories annual Medicaid funding — taking us from $11 million a year to $84+ million a year, and hoping to increase our FMAP from a regular 55% to 83% permanently,” she noted.

“The hard work continues, to transition our program to individual enrollment in order to be eligible for the full 83% FMAP. This will allow us to continue to expand Medicaid benefits to our eligible populations,” she said.

In addition to the proposed permanent FMAP extension, King Young said the bill proposes:

•           That the Territories would need to submit a 4-year strategic plan to the U.S Health and Human Service Department by Sept 30, 2023, outlining the Territory’s goals related to workforce development, financing, systems implementation and operation, and program integrity, and a progress report on these goals by September 30, 2027;

•           Create Medicaid Data System Improvement Payments for American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands, and the US Virgin Islands. These payments will be equal to 100% of the qualifying data system improvement expenditures incurred on or after October 1, 2023, up to a total cap of $20,000,000 equitably distributed across the four Territories.

King Young said the bill is expected to be voted on later this week and no significant change to the territorial provisions is expected.