Medicaid Enrollment Jumps 3 Million

Participation in the federal program as of February is higher than pre-Obamacare totals, but we still don’t know what portion are newly eligible under the health law.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Protestors carry signs as they demonstrate against proposed cuts to Medical and Medicare outside San Francisco city hall on September 21, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Dozens of disabled people staged a protest against proposed cuts to Medical, Medicare and Medicaid programs.
National Journal
Sophie Novack
See more stories about...
Sophie Novack
April 4, 2014, 8:30 a.m.

Three mil­lion ad­di­tion­al people have en­rolled in Medi­caid cov­er­age as of the end of Feb­ru­ary, com­pared with pre-Obama­care fig­ures, the Cen­ters for Medi­care and Medi­caid Ser­vices an­nounced Fri­day.

The re­port finds that as of the end of the fifth month of open en­roll­ment un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act, 3 mil­lion more people are en­rolled in Medi­caid and CHIP pro­grams, com­pared with the av­er­age total en­rolled between Ju­ly and Septem­ber of last year. The data is from the 46 states re­port­ing their en­roll­ment in Feb­ru­ary and be­fore Oc­to­ber, and does not in­clude March.

Medi­caid en­roll­ment has in­creased by ap­prox­im­ately 633,170 between Janu­ary and Feb­ru­ary of this year.

As of the last day in Feb­ru­ary, about 62.3 mil­lion in­di­vidu­als were en­rolled in Medi­caid and CHIP in the 48 states re­port­ing en­roll­ment in­form­a­tion — more than 20 per­cent of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion.

The White House an­nounced earli­er this week that 7.1 mil­lion Amer­ic­ans have en­rolled in private cov­er­age through the in­sur­ance ex­changes. An ad­di­tion­al 3 mil­lion young adults were covered un­der their par­ents’ in­sur­ance, ac­cord­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The health law calls for an ex­pan­sion of Medi­caid to all adults up to 138 per­cent of the fed­er­al poverty level. However, a 2012 Su­preme Court rul­ing made that op­tion­al for the states; cur­rently 26 states plus the Dis­trict of Columbia are ex­pand­ing Medi­caid, 19 are not, and five re­main un­de­cided.

The de­cision to ex­pand Medi­caid has had a dra­mat­ic im­pact on the num­ber of in­di­vidu­als en­rolled in the fed­er­al pro­gram over the past five months. Ac­cord­ing to the CMS re­port, in states that are par­ti­cip­at­ing in ex­pan­sion — and where ex­pan­sion was already in ef­fect in Feb­ru­ary — en­roll­ment in­creased by 8.3 per­cent com­pared with the months pri­or to ACA open en­roll­ment be­gin­ning Oct 1. States that have not ex­pan­ded Medi­caid cov­er­age re­por­ted a 1.6 per­cent in­crease.

The en­roll­ment num­bers are dif­fer­ent from Medi­caid eli­gib­il­ity de­term­in­a­tions in that they in­clude those who left as well as entered the Medi­caid pro­gram, and they do not in­clude those who are simply re­new­ing cov­er­age.

CMS says that 11.7 mil­lion people have been de­term­ined eli­gible for Medi­caid and CHIP between Oct. 2013 and Feb. 2014, but this total in­cludes any­one who has ap­plied for cov­er­age in that peri­od and been deemed with­in the re­quire­ments.

However, a few ques­tions re­main. CMS has not pre­vi­ously asked states to re­port this in­form­a­tion, so com­par­at­ive data on how much en­roll­ment fluc­tu­ated pri­or to the ACA are not avail­able. And we still do not know how many of those en­rolled in Medi­caid cov­er­age are newly eli­gible un­der the health care law.

These num­bers will con­tin­ue to grow; Medi­caid en­roll­ment is not part of the des­ig­nated open en­roll­ment peri­od, but is avail­able year-round.

What We're Following See More »
LEGACY PLAY
Sanders and Clinton Spar Over … President Obama
5 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama became a surprise topic of contention toward the end of the Democratic debate, as Hillary Clinton reminded viewers that Sanders had challenged the progressive bona fides of President Obama in 2011 and suggested that someone might challenge him from the left. “The kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans, I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama,” she said. “Madame Secretary, that is a low blow,” replied Sanders, before getting in another dig during his closing statement: “One of us ran against Barack Obama. I was not that candidate.”

THE 1%
Sanders’s Appeals to Minorities Still Filtered Through Wall Street Talk
6 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

It’s all about the 1% and Wall Street versus everyone else for Bernie Sanders—even when he’s talking about race relations. Like Hillary Clinton, he needs to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in coming states, but he insists on doing so through his lens of class warfare. When he got a question from the moderators about the plight of black America, he noted that during the great recession, African Americans “lost half their wealth,” and “instead of tax breaks for billionaires,” a Sanders presidency would deliver jobs for kids. On the very next question, he downplayed the role of race in inequality, saying, “It’s a racial issue, but it’s also a general economic issue.”

DIRECT APPEAL TO MINORITIES, WOMEN
Clinton Already Pivoting Her Messaging
7 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

It’s been said in just about every news story since New Hampshire: the primaries are headed to states where Hillary Clinton will do well among minority voters. Leaving nothing to chance, she underscored that point in her opening statement in the Milwaukee debate tonight, saying more needs to be done to help “African Americans who face discrimination in the job market” and immigrant families. She also made an explicit reference to “equal pay for women’s work.” Those boxes she’s checking are no coincidence: if she wins women, blacks and Hispanics, she wins the nomination.

THE QUESTION
How Many Jobs Would Be Lost Under Bernie Sanders’s Single-Payer System?
15 hours ago
THE ANSWER

More than 11 million, according to Manhattan Institute fellow Yevgeniy Feyman, writing in RealClearPolicy.

Source:
WEEKEND DATA DUMP
State to Release 550 More Clinton Emails on Saturday
15 hours ago
THE LATEST

Under pressure from a judge, the State Department will release about 550 of Hillary Clinton’s emails—“roughly 14 percent of the 3,700 remaining Clinton emails—on Saturday, in the middle of the Presidents Day holiday weekend.” All of the emails were supposed to have been released last month. Related: State subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last year, which brings the total number of current Clinton investigations to four, says the Daily Caller.

Source:
×