The Navajo Nation could become the first tribe to manage its own federally funded Medicaid program, according to Navajo Nation Department of Health officials who spoke to the Farmington Daily Times.
After reviewing a feasibility report, the department is optimistic that the tribe can sustain its own Medicaid program, even if the study was not as optimistic. The study has not yet been released, though it is complete and is under review by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services currently.
It will go to Congress for review March 23.
“Basically, what they indicated was if the Navajo Nation wanted to do it, it could do it,” said Larry Curley, executive director of the Navajo Nation Department of Health. “The Navajo Nation is moving ahead with this.”
Curley told the Daily Times there are more than 100,000 members of the tribe eligible for Medicaid but many of them do not take advantage of the services “because of the complications that frequently accompany them.”