Implications of the Medicaid Fiscal Cliff for the U.S. Territories
The U.S territories – American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) – have faced an array of longstanding fiscal and health challenges that were exacerbated by recent natural disasters and most recently by the COVID-19 pandemic. Differences in Medicaid financing, including a statutory cap and match rate, have contributed to broader fiscal and health systems challenges for the territories. Congress is currently debating legislation to address the looming Medicaid funding cliff. This brief builds on data in an earlier brief released in May 2021 examining the effects of the pandemic and the implications of the fiscal cliff and incorporates findings from a questionnaire sent to Medicaid Directors in territories in the summer of 2021.