Medicaid enrollment jumps by 1 million


More than 1 million people signed up for Medicaid in April, bringing the total growth since September to about 6 million, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In 47 states and the District of Columbia, overall Medicaid enrollment reached 65 million last month. Enrollment for those same states back in September totaled 59 million, according to a report released yesterday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

States that expanded Medicaid saw an enrollment increase of 15.3 percent, compared to the average enrollment from July through September 2013, while nonexpansion states saw a 3.3 percent increase, notes HHS.

What's more, nine out of the 24 states whose Medicaid expansions took effect in April saw enrollment grow by 25 percent or more. In Michigan, which began Medicaid expansion April 1, enrollment grew by almost 7 percent between March and April, according to the CMS report.

Yet out of the 26 states that chose to not expand Medicaid, 17 experienced a surge in enrollment, thanks to an increase of public awareness and outreach, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. Georgia raked in 99,000 new enrollees, while North Carolina added 58,000.

"This is good news," Rachel Klein, director of organizational strategy & enrollment at Families USA, a consumer advocacy group, told Kaiser Health News. "This increase reflects the ongoing outreach effort in states ... and that states are still processing applications they received earlier."

Certain states, like West Virginia, Oregon and Nevada, experienced the largest surge in enrollment--each state saw 40 percent growth since September, notes the CMS report.

The increase in Medicaid enrollment is promising, considering processing delays caused by technical issues with exchange websites. California, Illinois and North Carolina have the longest backlogs of Medicaid applications--almost 1.5 million people are still waiting for their Medicaid applications to be processed, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

For more:
- here's the HHS blog post
- read the KHN article
- check out the CMS report (.pdf)

Related Articles:
Medicaid has almost 3M unprocessed applications
Medicaid: 2 future trends for insurers
Nonexpansion states saw boost in Medicaid enrollment
What states matter most to exchange enrollment, Medicaid expansion?
10 states drive Medicaid enrollment