Medicaid, CHIP Add 10.1 Million Since Insurance Marketplaces Opened

More than 10.1 million people have enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in the first 14 months since marketplace enrollment began, the Obama administration reported Monday.

That’s a 17.5 percent increase over the average monthly enrollment of both programs just before marketplace health insurance became available in October 2013.

As of November, nearly 69 million Americans were covered through either Medicaid, the state/federal health plan for the poor and disabled, or CHIP, which covers children from working poor families.

Roughly 28.9 million children under age 18 now make up 54 percent of enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services.

“These numbers are encouraging – not because of the continued growth – but because they reflect the millions of lives changed by the Affordable Care Act,” said a Monday blog post from Vikki Wachino, acting director of HHS’ Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.

The enrollment surge was fueled mainly by the 28 states and the District of Columbia which have expanded Medicaid eligibility to adults who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

These states added more than 8.7 million people to their Medicaid and CHIP programs between October 2013 and November 2014. That’s a collective increase of nearly 25.5 percent, HHS reported.

The 22 non-expansion states added more than 1.4 million enrollees over the same period, increasing their Medicaid and CHIP enrollment by nearly 7 percent.

Among expansion states, Kentucky led the nation with a 72 percent increase in their Medicaid and CHIP enrollment since October 2013, adding more than 438,000 people through Nov. 2014.

Vermont was next with nearly 69 percent enrollment growth, followed by Nevada at 65 percent. Vermont added more than 87,000 people to their Medicaid and CHIP programs, while Nevada added nearly 218,000.

California led all expansion states with more than 2.6 million new program enrollees. Ohio was next with more than 526,000 and New York was third with nearly 518,000.

Among non-expansion states, Florida topped the nation, adding more than 250,000 new Medicaid and CHIP enrollees. Texas was next with more than 228,000 enrollees, while Georgia and North Carolina added more than 197,000 and 195,000, respectively.

“We are encouraged by interest from governors from all across the country who understand both the economic benefits of Medicaid expansion and the health and financial security it brings to many individuals,” Wachino wrote in her blog.

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