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Medicaid executive director stresses necessity of program

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Sept. 7, 2003
Rica Lewis-Payton, executive director of Mississippi's Division of Medicaid, says she wants to set the record straight on some Medicaid issues that have arisen during this year's gubernatorial race.
She said the program, which covers about 720,000 low income Mississippians, or about 25 percent of Mississippi's total population of 2.8 million, is too important not to be adequately funded.
For people eligible for full Medicaid services, payments are made to health care providers, including doctors, hospitals and pharmacists who participate in the program.
She said children are covered if their guardian's income is up to 200 percent of the poverty level and pregnant women are covered who earn up to 185 percent of the poverty level.