On Dec. 28, the Department of Health Services (DHS) sent the Joint Finance Committee an update on the state’s Medicaid budget that projects Medicaid benefits costs will be below budgeted levels by $212.7 million GPR by the end of 2017-19. In September, DHS had projected a $149 million difference between budgeted and projected expenditure levels for the biennium. DHS partially attributed the improved projections to lower prescription drug expenditures and lower enrollment. DHS also anticipates rates for BadgerCare Plus and SSI Managed Care HMOs will decline in 2019 based on utilization trends. However, lower rates will be offset by higher Family Care managed care organization rates. In its 2019-21 agency budget request before the Evers administration’s transition, DHS asked for $496 million GPR for Medicaid cost-to-continue.