UPDATE: Barbour says Medicaid payments will be delayed

JACKSON – Gov. Haley Barbour says the Division of Medicaid is telling health care providers that payments will be delayed until after the first of July as state leaders struggle to agree on a state budget.

Barbour said the Medicaid shortfall had been anticipated to be about $20 million for the year, but it now appears the government health insurance program for the needy is $34 million short.

Barbour said during a news conference Friday that letters are being sent to providers by the Division of Medicaid to inform them about the delay.

House and Senate negotiators are trying to reach a budget compromise for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Barbour will call legislators back for a special session to vote on a budget once a deal is reached.

The Associated Press