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 17,098.45 18.88 0.11%
Nasdaq 4,580.27 22.58 0.50%
S&P 500 2,003.37 6.63 0.33%
Treasuries 2.34 0.01 0.39%
Data as of 7:09am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.09 0.08 0.50%
Apple Inc 102.50 0.25 0.24%
Intel Corp 34.92 0.27 0.78%
Facebook Inc 74.82 0.96 1.31%
General Electric Co 25.98 -0.03 -0.12%
Data as of Aug 29

Sections

The deal would value Vice at $2.5 billion. The online media company would also create content for the cable network, delivering a wider audience. More

Gas prices are falling to nearly $3 a gallon in some parts of South Carolina, and that will soon be common in much of the country. More

Netflix told the FCC that its speed on the Comcast network became so slow that customers began dropping their service. More

The Coolest Cooler is the most successful Kickstarter campaign in the site's history, raising $13.3 million from over 62,000 backers. More

Five CNNMoney readers share stories about saving that you can learn from: What they would do differently if they had another chance. More

Market indexes 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. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.