Issue Brief 9-32
August 28, 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 August 21, 2009, BLS published final state unemployment data for June 2009. These data were revised on August 25, 2009, to reflect corrected data for Connecticut due to a minor input error. Because of the additivity in the BLS estimating process, this input error also affected the five other New England states. Publication of the final June 2009 data permits the calculation of the final fourth quarter ARRA FMAPs for federal fiscal year (FY) 2009. Although the updated June data were used in the calculation, the final FMAPs remain the same as the preliminary ones that FFIS calculated in Issue Brief 09-28.