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The Medicaid Opportunities and Challenges Task Force held meeting 3 of 4 in Sioux Falls, SD last week regarding Medicaid Expansion (ME).  This meeting was the final opportunity for the public to provide testimony to the Task Force to show support of opposition for ME.

The Task Force continues to define the expanded population of 48,500 South Dakotans that would become eligible for Medicaid and how they would be served.  There is concern among some members of the Task Force that current Medicaid patients in South Dakota are not being adequately served.  The health systems in South Dakota are confident they are meeting the needs of current Medicaid patients and can meet the needs of the expanded Medicaid population. 

The cost of ME was also a lively topic.  If expansion moves forward, will the state cover all of the relatively minimal costs to implement and administer ME or will healthcare partners in SD be asked to help absorb some of the costs.  This matter was not resolved during the Task Force meeting and will likely not be settled anytime soon.

The Task Force will hold its final meeting in August and their report will be submitted to the Governor by September 15.  The report will likely cover South Dakota’s options related to ME, how other states are approaching ME, who will be impacted by coverage in South Dakota by ME, the pros and cons of ME and implementation considerations if South Dakota moves forward with ME.

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