Arizona Medicaid fees loom for smokers, obese

By Aaron Smith, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The governor of Arizona has proposed a novel way of helping to pay burgeoning Medicaid costs -- imposing a fee on smokers, diabetics and obese people who receive the state aid.

The proposal from Gov. Jan Brewer, which would take effect in October, imposes "penalty and incentive strategies" on Medicaid members "to take responsibility for their own health care," according to a statement from the governor's office.

The "strategies" include an annual fee of $50 on childless adults who smoke. Medicaid recipients who are obese or diabetic would face similar penalties if they don't get into shape.

"Childless adults who are obese and/or suffer from a chronic disease, such as diabetes, will need to work with their primary care physician to develop a care plan," the document said.

Matthew Benson, spokesman for the governor, said this proposal is part of a wider plan to save $510 million for the state. He said the proposal has been submitted to the federal government for review, a months-long process.

Benson said parts of the plan will also require approval from state legislators.

Many states have been hard hit covering their Medicaid costs as federal funding has dried up. The federal government is matching every dollar of state funding for Medicaid with $1.61 in federal funding. That's down from $2.68 in federal funding in 2010.

The state's current Medicaid plan expires on Sept. 30. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,828.24 0.49 0.00%
Nasdaq 4,791.63 4.31 0.09%
S&P 500 2,067.56 -5.27 -0.25%
Treasuries 2.19 -0.04 -1.79%
Data as of 12:25am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Kinder Morgan Inc 41.35 -0.97 -2.29%
Halliburton Co 42.20 -5.14 -10.86%
General Electric Co 26.49 -0.38 -1.41%
Bank of America Corp... 17.04 -0.07 -0.41%
Apple Inc 118.93 -0.07 -0.06%
Data as of Nov 28

Sections

Union-backed demonstrators are protesting outside some Walmart stores Friday, asking the company to pay workers at least $15 an hour. More

From their smartphones, tablets or laptops -- and the comfort of the living room or Thanksgiving dinner table -- Black Friday shoppers could find deals all week that rivaled the in-store doorbusters. More

Natalie's Cakes and More has raised $84,000 through GoFundMe after protests trash store. More

Retailers are promising big deals this Black Friday, but are the savings actually worth the shopping mayhem? Test your deal-sniffing skills. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.