Medicaid an Obamacare Success Story

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 21: Dr. Martha Perez examines Maria Lebron in a room at the Community Health of South Florida, Doris Ison Health Center on February 21, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Florida Gov. Rick Scott reversed himself on February 20, and now is callling for an expansion of Medicaid to Florida residents under the federal Affordable Care Act. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
National Journal
Sophie Novack
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Sophie Novack
Dec. 3, 2013, 6:46 a.m.

A new re­port re­leased by the Cen­ters for Medi­care and Medi­caid Ser­vices Tues­day shows that more than 1.46 mil­lion people were de­term­ined in Oc­to­ber to be eli­gible to en­roll in Medi­caid or the Chil­dren’s Health In­sur­ance Pro­gram.

The num­ber of ap­plic­a­tions for Medi­caid has in­creased un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act, al­though the dif­fer­ence has been more sub­stan­tial in states that have de­cided to ex­pand Medi­caid. The law calls for an ex­pan­sion of Medi­caid to people with in­comes of up to 133 per­cent of the fed­er­al poverty line in 2014. The Su­preme Court left the de­cision to opt in or out up to the states, and a num­ber of Re­pub­lic­an gov­ernors chose not to ex­pand.

Twenty-five states plus D.C. are cur­rently plan­ning to ex­pand Medi­caid. The Oc­to­ber re­port counts 23 states plus D.C. as par­ti­cip­at­ing, since Ohio and Michigan de­cided to opt in more re­cently.

In states that are not ex­pand­ing Medi­caid, ap­plic­a­tions to Medi­caid and CHIP agen­cies in­creased 4.1 per­cent in Oc­to­ber over the pre­vi­ous few months, and the total num­ber of in­di­vidu­als de­term­ined to be eli­gible for Medi­caid or CHIP was 697,019. In states that are ex­pand­ing Medi­caid, ap­plic­a­tions jumped 15.5 per­cent, and 757,991 new eli­gib­il­ity de­term­in­a­tions were made. The over­all total across all states was an 8.6 per­cent in­crease in ap­plic­a­tions and 1,460,367 new eli­gib­il­ity de­term­in­a­tions.

Al­though the in­crease in ap­plic­a­tions was high­er in states ex­pand­ing Medi­caid, the in­sur­ance re­quire­ment and cov­er­age of the law in gen­er­al has promp­ted a num­ber of un­in­sured but eli­gible in­di­vidu­als to ap­ply for Medi­caid cov­er­age.

The re­port re­leased Tues­day is the first in an on­go­ing series of monthly re­ports on state Medi­caid and CHIP data.

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