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Alabama Medicaid Program Facing Budget Cuts

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama state officials have outlined cuts to Medicaid that have comes as a result of lower than expected state revenue.

The cuts include a 10 percent reduction to payments for certain providers, including doctors, dentists, x-rays, medical equipment and maternity primary contractors.

While state officials say benefits to children won't change, some adult benefits will. Medicaid will only cover routine eye exams once every three years instead of once every two, and the state is ending coverage of eyeglasses as a benefit.

The cuts also mean Medicaid will only cover one brand-name drug per month. Generic drugs and over-the-counter medicines will still be covered.

Medicaid will no longer cover cough and cold drugs for all recipients, though certain over-the-counter drugs are still covered.

The changes go into effect June 1.

Alabama Medicaid chief Dr. Donald Williamson says the cuts will continue into the next budget year. Williamson says the $603 million budget that the Legislature provided for the new fiscal year starting Oct. 1 is the minimum the program would live with.

He says the reductions assume that the program will be able to find additional savings in the next fiscal year.


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