Despite pressure to cut state agency budgets, Georgia's Medicaid program is expanding benefits and increasing payments to HMOs by 5 percent.
Gov. Zell Miller has instructed all state agencies, including the Department of Medical Assistance, which oversees Medicaid, to trim spending by 5 percent for the fiscal 2000 budget that takes effect next July.
Two of the three HMOs that serve Georgia Medicaid beneficiaries dropped the program earlier this year, citing low reimbursement.
Before taking effect, the proposed Medicaid budget must be approved by the governor and the General Assembly. New benefits in the proposal include a 24-hour nurse call program, an annual dental exam and cleaning for adults, and eye exams and new eyeglasses once every two years.