May 31, 2005

Long-term Disability Coverage Expanded by Legislature

The Texas Legislature recently adopted budget provisions that would allow the Commissioner of Health and Human Services to choose managed care programs for Medicaid recipients. The new programs will be created in San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, El Paso and Lubbock.

The plan will be implemented in stages, with a pilot program being created in Dallas that will be modeled after Houston's STAR+PLUS program. The Commissioner will then seek public comments and recommendations from the citizens in the remaining locations before implementing the programs in those cities.

Amerigroup, a Virginia based company that manages the program in Houston, believes that the expansion of these types of programs can offer excellent health care services at a substantial cost reduction to tax payers.