December 20, 2019

Navajo Nation plans to create 'one-of-a-kind' Medicaid program in New Mexico

Daily Briefing

    The Navajo Nation recently announced plans to contract with Molina Healthcare to create a managed-health care offering under New Mexico's Medicaid program—a move that would make the tribe one of the first to create a managed-health care entity, the Associated Press reports. 

    New report: Your Medicaid growth outlook

    About the plan

    The Navajo Nation's business arm, the Naat'aanii Development Corporation, announced the plan to create a Medicaid managed-care offering.

    Navajo Nation Council Delegate Daniel Tso—chair of the Navajo Nation's Health, Education and Human Services Committee—said the new entity "will be a one-of-a-kind Medicaid program" designed to improve access and quality of health care on the largest Native American reservation.

    When compared with average Medicaid populations, Navajos tend to get care at lower rates and report worse health outcomes, according to Tso.

    According to the Associated Press, about 75,000 Navajos are eligible for New Mexico's Medicaid program.

    State health officials estimated that, if 50,000 people enroll in the managed-care plan, the plan could generate up to $468 million in payments to the Navajo Nation annually (Associated Press, 12/18).

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