First Official Report on Medicaid Enrollment: More Than Three Million Got Covered in Five Months

By Molly Warren

More enrollment news came last Friday — this time on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported that three million Americans enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP between October 2013 and February 2014. This is a five percent increase in total Medicaid program growth. And, this is in addition to the more than seven million Americans who selected marketplace plans during open enrollment!

This is the first time that the Medicaid report includes data on total enrollment; previous reports only included application and eligibility determination data. We’re very excited to see these enrollment figures, as it is a more reliable way to assess program growth.

As expected, states that expanded Medicaid have generally seen greater rates of enrollment than non-expansion states since October 2013 — 8.3 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. Some non-expansion states have broken this mold, though. Florida, for one, has seen an 8.2 percent increase in Medicaid enrollment since October! The state also has impressive marketplace enrollment figures and seems to have cracked the code in getting people covered on both fronts.

One important caveat: this data does not include Connecticut, Maine, or North Dakota. And remember that this report only captures data through February. With the huge surge in marketplace enrollment in March, it seems likely that there will be a similar surge in Medicaid! Also, don’t forget — Medicaid enrollment is year-round.

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