Issue Brief 9-39
October 26, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA; P.L. 111-5) contains provisions that increase Medicaid grants to states for 27 months by increasing their federal medical assistance percentages (FMAPs), the share of state programs paid by the federal government. The bonus increases can change each quarter based on state unemployment rates. The preliminary quarterly unemployment bonuses are calculated when preliminary unemployment data for the month prior to the start of the quarter is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Those quarterly FMAPs are recalculated once final unemployment data are available.

On October 21, 2009, BLS published preliminary state unemployment data for September 2009. Publication of this data permits the calculation of the preliminary first quarter ARRA FMAPs for federal fiscal year (FY) 2010. Nine states are projected to move to a higher bonus tier, and several other states receive increases due to higher FMAP base rates in FY 2010.