Medicaid/CHIP enrollments up 23.9% during pandemic, KFF report says

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Preliminary data for April 2022 shows that the total number of enrollments in the Medicaid/Children’s health insurance program has increased by 23.9% since February 2020, on August 3 report by the shows of the Kaiser Family Foundation. This represents an increase of 17 million people, reaching 88.3 million people registered in total.

The KFF report analyzed data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Performance Indicators Project. It comes after the Department of Health and Human Services announced that the national uninsured rate hit an all-time high of 8% in early 2022.

The increase in enrollment is likely due to shifts in the economy, policy changes like the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act, and the Family First Coronavirus Response Act’s temporary continued enrollment requirement. , according to the report.

The continued enrollment requirement prohibits states from de-enrolling Medicaid enrollees during the pandemic emergency period. States in return receive a temporary increase in federal Medicaid match rates. Continuous Enrollment has paused “churning” in Medicaid, which is when people temporarily lose coverage when they unenroll and then have to re-enroll.

All states saw growth in total Medicaid/CHIP enrollment from 2020 to 2022. Oklahoma, which expanded Medicaid in July 2021, saw the largest growth at 64.5% and Connecticut the most. low at 14.8%. Utah, Idaho, Nebraska and Missouri have also expanded Medicaid over the past two years.

Most of the enrollment increases from 2020 to 2022 come from Medicaid, which grew 25.9% to 16.7 million enrollees. CHIP, meanwhile, grew just 5% to 336,000 enrollees, and 15 states saw a decline in enrollments. This is likely due to changes in family income, which led children to switch from CHIP coverage to Medicaid, KFF found.

Adult enrollment increased by 33.1% from 2020 to 2022, or 11.3 million adults. Child enrollment increased at a slower pace: 14.7%, or 5.2 million children.

After the implementation of the ACA Medicaid expansion in 2014, there were significant increases in Medicaid and CHIP enrollment. The trend reversed from 2017 to 2019, going from 73.4 million subscribers to 71.2 million, a decrease of 3%. The decrease was due to a robust economy, but in some cases those eligible for coverage faced difficulties in the enrollment and renewal process, according to the report.

It is possible that the trend will change course again soon. Although there has been a continued increase in Medicaid enrollment over the past two years, the increases appear to be slowing, KFF found. Additionally, when the public health emergency ends and continued enrollment expires, many could lose coverage. Currently, that’s slated for mid-October, but the Biden administration could extend it an additional 90 days, according to the report.

When the continuous registration requirement ends, states have up to 14 months to resume normal operations. During this period, states will de-enroll individuals who are no longer eligible for coverage. KFF estimates that between 5.3 million and 14.2 million could be unsubscribed when this happens.

“How states manage the large volume of new determinations during the ‘unwind’ of the continuing registration requirement, as well as how states engage with registrants and other stakeholders, will impact continuity of coverage for millions of Medicaid enrollees,” the report said.

Photo: designer491, Getty Images

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