The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will end the budget year with a $12.5 million shortfall, meaning health care providers won't receive their June MaineCare reimbursements until July. Meanwhile, the state retirement system will require about $80 million less than previously expected in the next two-year budget.
DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew told lawmakers Monday that higher-than-anticipated costs for prescription drugs and other items led to the department's shortfall, according to MaineToday Media. Providers won't receive their final reimbursements of the budget year, which ends June 30, until July. The state is also working to recoup some of the $16 million it overpaid to providers in the last year, an error due to computer billing problems. So far the state has received back $7 million, and is seeking another $4 million.
In related budget news, Maine Public Employee Retirement System Director Sandy Matheson told lawmakers that the state will not need to pay out to the retirement system as much as it expected. Original projections pegged the amount for 2014 and 2015 at $690 million, but she expected the amount would actually be $600 million-$610 million, according to the media company. The change is due to reforms to the retirement system passed last year that included freezing benefits and capping cost-of-living increases.
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