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Arizona freeze on Medicaid awaits word from feds

Arizona officials hope for word Friday on whether they can start implementation of Gov. Jan. Brewer’s plan to reduce Medicaid enrollment to help balance the state budget.

The state doesn’t need federal approval to reduce enrollment in parts of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System that aren’t federally mandated but processes to implement changes are subject to federal review.

That has the state awaiting clearance to implement an enrollment freeze that starting Sunday would prevent new signups in a small part of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.

That part known as the “spend-down population” consists of people hammered by large health care expenses.

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