MONTGOMERY, AL (WTVM) - The state of Alabama is getting an early Christmas present as they are awarded a nearly $40 million grant for Medicaid. The Governor held a press conference at the state's capitol Monday about the announcement.
The Department of Health and Human Services is giving a $39.1 million performance bonus to the state of Alabama's Medicaid program.
Alabama Medicaid representative Gretel Felton said, "The people at Medicaid, especially the eligibility workers across the state, people in the central office, have worked diligently to help the poor and needy in Alabama and that's one of the big reasons why we received this award."
Of the $72.6 million granted to states all over the country, Alabama is receiving 53 percent of that funding.
Georgia Governor Bob Riley said, "I just want to tell all the people who filed for this application, made it work, allowed this grant to take place, how much the people of Alabama truly appreciate it."
Alabama was chosen for this grant because of the effectiveness of the state's methods in enrolling more low-income children into Medicaid during 2009.
Governor Riley says the state is in the process of putting together the 2010 budget, and this grant will certainly help with that, "Everyone on this room understands how difficult it is to put together our general fund budget. This is going to make a huge contribution this year."
Alabama is one of only 12 states offering Medicaid coverage to families who are at 300 percent or higher of the federal poverty level.
It will cost the state $7 million to re-do the program, and this enormous grant will help.