10 states drive Medicaid enrollment


Although 26 states have agreed to expand their Medicaid programs, allowing 3 million new consumers to obtain coverage so far, 10 states drove 80 percent of that enrollment, finds a new analysis from Avalere Health.

Those states with the highest Medicaid enrollment numbers include California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia. As of February, California enrolled 842,000 new Medicaid members, Florida signed up 245,000 people, Oregon enrolled 218,000 and Washington has 252,000 new members.

Florida is the only nonexpansion state with more than 100,000 new enrollees in its Medicaid program. Although Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) did an about-face to support the reform law's Medicaid expansion, a state Senate committee rejected it, leaving the state without an expansion plan, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

"We continue to see dramatic variations across the states in terms of enrollment into new coverage programs," said Jenna Stento, a senior manager at Avalere. "While some differences may be a result of state decisions to expand Medicaid, certain nonexpansion states are also seeing large increases in Medicaid enrollment."

The numbers could increase even more if Medicaid enrollment follows similar sign-up patterns as the health insurance exchanges.

"In March, enrollment in exchange plans surged dramatically as individuals signed up for coverage at more than twice the February rate of enrollment," Avalere CEO Dan Mendelson said. "Medicaid enrollment could increase at a similar rate in March, and April could see another bump as individuals assessed eligible for Medicaid by the federal exchange undergo determination by state Medicaid agencies."

If that's the case, Avalere Health predicted up to 4.3 million new Medicaid enrollees by the end of March.

To learn more:
- here's the Avalere Health analysis

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