Challenges in the U.S. Territories: COVID-19 and the Medicaid Financing Cliff
More than a year into the public health emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the lives of Americans including those living in the U.S. territories. Differences in Medicaid financing, including a statutory cap and match rate, have contributed to broader fiscal and health systems challenges for the territories. While additional federal funds have been provided over the statutory caps, these funds are set to expire at the end of September 2021. Without additional Congressional action, the territories will lose the vast majority of Medicaid financing which could result in reductions in coverage, services, and provider rates which could negatively impact the territories as they deal with the long-term health and economic consequences of the pandemic. This brief looks at how the pandemic is affecting the territories as well as issues related to the upcoming Medicaid fiscal cliff.