State awards contract to study Medicaid block grant system

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska has awarded a contract to study whether the state can become the first in the nation to change its Medicaid program into a block grant system.

Alaska Journal of Commerce reported Wednesday that the state Department of Health and Social Services issued a notice May 29 of its intent to award the contract to analyze the prospect of implementing block grants for federal Medicaid payments, work requirements for Medicaid enrollees, and shifting some Alaska Medicaid recipients to private insurance.

The $100,000 contract calls for Boston-based Public Consulting Group to draft a paper by June 30 studying whether the initiatives will save Alaska money.

Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy sent a letter to President Donald Trump March 1 that discussed Medicaid block grants.

Alaska House Democrats have denounced the idea.

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