Governor Pierluisi Urges U.S. Congress to Give Puerto Rico State-Like Treatment in Medicaid Program

(March 9, 2021 – Washington, DC) – Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi sent a letter to congressional leadership and the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means Committees urging them to fully fund Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program. In the letter, the Governor forewarns that without continued federal funding, the island will face a Medicaid fiscal cliff on September 30, 2021. Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program serves more than 1.4 million beneficiaries providing access to health care for some of the most vulnerable populations on the island, including low-income families, children, and individuals with disabilities. 

In 2019, Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program received $2.6 billion for FY 2020 and $2.7 billion for FY 2021 at an increased FMAP of 76 percent, plus $200 million subject to compliance with certain requirements. This funding was further increased by the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (P.L. 116-127) with an additional $2.7 billion for FY 2020 and $2.8 billion for FY 2021, with a temporary increase of 6.2 percentage points on a quarterly basis during the term of the emergency period of COVID-19. 

“I will continue to advocate for the equal treatment of Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program by promoting the transition of federal funding for Puerto Rico to a state-like program instead of a statutorily capped blocked grant, and an FMAP based on Puerto Rico’s per capita income relative to that of the Nation,” stated Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi. 

“I will fight to ensure that we are able to attain adequate long-term funding to provide the life-saving services patients require to meet their medical needs and to retain medical specialists by providing competitive reimbursements. Without proper federal funding, there will be a reduction of health care services exacerbating the ongoing medical crisis. I look forward to having conversations with congressional leadership and committees of jurisdiction to meet the health care needs of vulnerable U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico,” expressed the Governor.

“Puerto Rico once again will face a Medicaid cliff on September 30, 2021, and it is imperative that adequate federal funding is provided to the program so that the American citizens residing in Puerto Rico can have access to the same healthcare services as their counterparts in the mainland. We urge Congress to act promptly on a long-term fix for Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program and look forward to continuing working with leadership and the committees of jurisdiction on this issue of utmost importance to our island,” stated PRFAA’s Executive Director, Carmen M. Feliciano.  


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