Medicaid, CHIP enrollment up by nearly 9 million

Medicaid enrollment has surged between October 2013 and the end of this August, rising by nearly 9 million overall. That has boosted total enrollment in the Medicaid program by 14.7 percent. Data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services showed enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) stood at 67.9 million at the end of last August, with 27.8 million children enrolled in both programs.

There was a stark contrast in enrollment trends among states that chose to expand their Medicaid programs under the auspices of Affordable Care Act (ACA) and those that chose not to. California, an expansion state, saw its Medicaid and CHIP rolls grow by more than 2 million between the average enrollment numbers of July to September 2013 and this August, an increase of more than 22 percent. Kentucky, one of the few Republican-dominated states that chose to expand Medicaid, saw its enrollment grow more than 72 percent, from just more than 600,000 to more than 1 million.

Nonexpansion states experienced growth in the single digits, such as Wisconsin, which grew less than 2 percent, and Texas, which grew less than 4 percent. South Carolina had the biggest gain, of 10.5 percent.

Four states actually saw their Medicaid and CHIP rolls contract: Missouri, Nebraska, Virginia and Wyoming. Final enrollment data was not available for Maine, whose governor, Paul LePage, had moved to cut Medicaid rolls.

The expansion of Medicaid has had a positive effect on hospitals, with many reporting that they had cut their levels of uncompensated care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently reported that the ACA is helping cut costs to hospitals by nearly $6 billion, although the large bulk of that relief is coming in states that have expanded Medicaid.

Meanwhile, nongovernment reports suggest that the Medicaid program will continue to expand by double-digit rates.

To learn more:
- check out the Medicaid report (.pdf)