Issue Brief 11-09
March 18, 2011

P.L. 111-226 provided a two-quarter extension, through June 30, 2011, of the increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAPs) included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA; P.L. 111-5). The provisions in the extension were slightly different from those in ARRA and included a phased-down across-the-board increase, modifications to the unemployment adjustment, and a new governor-certification requirement (see Issue Brief 10-33 for a detailed description of P.L. 111-226).

This Issue Brief estimates the final FMAPs under the extension period (the second and third quarter of federal fiscal year (FY) 2011) based on state unemployment data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on March 10, 2011. P.L. 111-226 required that the unemployment adjustment for the extension period rely on data for the three consecutive-month period beginning December 2009 and ending before January 2011, resulting in the highest FMAP increase. The BLS release provided final unemployment data for December 2010. It also included historical revisions that affect prior monthly data, including the lowest average monthly unemployment rate (base rate) used in the calculation.