RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The state budget office says the North Carolina’s Medicaid program owes medical providers for nearly two years of payments for care for the poor and elderly.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports (http://bit.ly/1dqjtEV) that the state has not been properly paying providers for patients who use both Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare serves the elderly while Medicaid serves the poor.

Providers have been complaining since the state started using a new payment system in 2013 that they were underpaid. The state did not begin those payments until March of this year.

For people who use both forms of insurance, Medicaid pays deductibles and copayments. Both the state and federal governments pay Medicaid bills.

Budget director Lee Roberts said the state does not know how much the overdue payments will cost.

Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

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