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Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Medicaid Enrollment Surged During October, Says CMS

December 5, 2013 | Medicaid | Comments
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More than 1.4 million people were determined eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program in October, according to a government report issued this week. The numbers reflect an average 15.5% increase in Medicaid application volume in states participating in the Medicaid expansion and a 4.1% increase in states that are not expanding Medicaid.

Healthcare experts have long predicted that the opening of the health insurance exchanges would lead to Medicaid enrollment increases even in states that have opted not to participate in the expansion, as individuals who were previously eligible for (but unenrolled in) Medicaid seek to enroll through the online marketplaces.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) report reflects applications submitted directly to Medicaid and CHIP agencies and applications submitted to state-run health insurance exchanges. An earlier CMS report found that the federal exchange, Healthcare.gov, had determined about 400,000 people eligible for Medicaid. CMS said it would continue reporting Medicaid enrollment figures on a monthly basis. Unlike the health insurance exchanges, where individuals must enroll during a fixed open enrollment period, individuals eligible for Medicaid may apply throughout the year.