71,777,758 Enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP; 1 for Every 2 Americans With a Job

Terence P. Jeffrey | March 30, 2016 | 12:49pm EDT
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President Barack Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) - As of the end of 2015, there were 71,777,758 individual in the United States enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), according to data published by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The 71,777,758 people enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of December, according to CMS, was an increase of 14,478,342 from the average monthly enrollment of 56,274,369 in the period of July through September 2013, just before the “State-Based Marketplaces” opened in October 2013 under the terms of the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare).

That means overall Medicaid and CHIP enrollment has increased 25.7 percent since the Obamacare marketplaces opened.

Among the 30 states (and the District of Columbia) that as of November had agreed to expand Medicaid eligibility under the terms of Obamacare, Medicaid and CHIP enrollment expanded by 12,408,722 from July-Sept. 2013 to December 2015—rising from 36,111,216 to 49,265,985.

That is a 34.4 percent increase.

The 71,777,758 total individuals enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP in December equaled about one enrollee for every two persons with either a full- or part-time job.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 149,929,000 persons in the United States in December that had either a full- or part-time job. That equaled 2.09 job holders for each of the 71,777,758 Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries.

(Screen capture from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report on Medicaid and CHIPS enrollment.)

“Looking at the additional enrollment since October 2013 when the initial Marketplace open enrollment period began, among the 49 states reporting both December 2015 enrollment data and data from July-September of 2013, nearly 14.5 million additional individuals are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of December 2015, over a 25.7 percent increase over the average monthly enrollment for July through September of 2013,” said the CMS report on the data. “(Connecticut and Maine are not included in this count.)”

“Among states that had implemented Medicaid expansion and were covering newly eligible adults in December 2015, Medicaid and CHIP enrollment rose by over 34.4 percent compared to the July-September 2013 baseline period, while states that have not, to date, expanded Medicaid reported an increase of nearly 10.3 percent over the same period,” said the report.

“These enrollment counts are in addition to the enrollment increases from the nearly 950,000 individuals who gained coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act before open enrollment began,” said the report.

In fiscal year 2013, which ended on Sept. 30, 2013, the federal government paid $265,392,000,000 in grants to states for Medicaid, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement for September 2013. In fiscal 2015, which ended on Sept. 30, 2015, the federal government paid $349,762,000,000 in grants to states for Medicaid.

That is an increase of $84,370,000,000 or 31.8 percent.

“Medicaid is a means-tested entitlement program that finances the delivery of primary and acute medical services as well as long-term services and supports,” explains the Congressional Research Service. “Medicaid is a federal and state partnership. The states are responsible for administering their Medicaid programs, and Medicaid is jointly financed by the federal government and the states.”

“The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a means-tested program that provides health coverage to targeted low-income children and pregnant women in families that have annual income above Medicaid eligibility levels but have no health insurance,” says CRS. “CHIP is jointly financed by the federal government and states, and the states are responsible for administering CHIP.”

“As of November 2015,” said the CMS report, “thirty states had implemented the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to cover adults under age 65 with incomes up to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. The enrollment impact of the Medicaid expansion varies; some states expanded coverage to parents and other adults at income levels above the level required under federal law before the Affordable Care Act.”

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