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Suffolk County to save $3.1 million in Medicaid costs as federal government boosts support

Suffolk County will save $3.1 million in Medicaid costs this year as the federal government picks up a larger share of the costs to cover the county's poor, elderly and disabled, county officials learned this month.

The federal government's higher-than-budgeted contribution is provided to the local governments in New York under the Affordable Care Act, said John O'Neill, commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Social Services.

Under the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, the federal government pays 75 percent of the cost of enrolling certain single and childless couples in Medicaid.

"This is welcome news for Suffolk County's budget and an important step forward to continue to lessen an unfunded mandate on Suffolk County residents," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a statement.

Medicaid covered 198,284 Suffolk residents as of the end of November. The county budgeted spending $245.1 million in 2015. The new forecast, due to the increased federal money, is expected to be $242 million, O'Neill said.

The program is paid for by federal, state and local governments.

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