Medicaid commissioner says Alabama faces critical decisions –

Alabama Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar said today the agency will need about $44 million more from the General Fund next year on top of a $105 million one-year boost from a BP oil spill settlement.

Azar and key legislators said the state needs to plan beyond next year and decide whether to proceed with a plan to change Medicaid to a managed care system, a federally approved reform that has been in the works for several years.

Expectations that the Republican-led Congress and Trump administration will pass major health care reforms adds more uncertainty for the Medicaid Agency, which provides a variety of services for about one million Alabamians.

Azar spoke to the Legislature’s budget committees as they opened hearings in preparations for the legislative session, which starts Feb. 7.

For several years, funding Medicaid has been one of the toughest issues for…

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