Issue Brief

No. 760

The Federal-State Medicaid Match: An Ongoing Tug-of-War over Practice and Policy
December 15, 2000


Karen Matherlee


Reviewing Medicaid match issues since the latter 1980s, this issue brief traces ways in which some states have used creative financing to get more Medicaid matching dollars than they otherwise would qualify for from the federal government. It explores the latest mechanism, states' use of so-called intergovernmental transfers of funds (to avoid established upper payment limits) to increase their matches, triggering efforts by the Senate Finance Committee and the federal Medicaid agency to ban such transfers.

Related Materials

See also the entry for the related Forum Session.

For more recent information on this topic, see "Medicaid Financing: How the FMAP Formula Works and Why It Falls Short" (Issue Brief No. 828, December 11, 2008), and "The Federal-State Struggle over Medicaid Matching Funds: An Update (Background Paper, May 31, 2002).

In addition, see "Medicaid Financing" (The Basics, January 5, 2016).

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