Thursday, October 15, 2020

Estimate: Total Medicaid enrollment stands at 78 million

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Update, 10/24/20: September totals added for IN, MD, ME, MI, MO, NV and UT. I also had to correct misallocated months in Kansas.

Enough Medicaid enrollment data is in for September to venture an estimate that total Medicaid enrollment now stands at 78 million, up by about 7 million or 10% since February. 

In 13 states with total enrollment of about 24 million, enrollment rose 1.3% from August to September, roughly in line with recent month-to-month increases.  As in previous months, California will probably drag down the total, perhaps to 1%.

Please see this post for the assumptions behind my August estimate of 77.3--77.6 million, further updated here. Note that the August total for Illinois is still estimated, based on increases in prior months. Any error there would have a negligible effect on the total.

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Pandemic Medicaid Enrollment in 32 States (updated 10/15)
February through August and September 2020
Expansion states in blue; nonexpansion states in red; Medicaid to 100% FPL in purple
Totals as of the end of each month
Estimated August totals in green

As noted previously:

The sustained Medicaid enrollment growth five months after the first pandemic-induced lockdowns  should not be a surprise. As I've noted before, Medicaid enrollment is a lagging indicator. A United Hospital Fund study found that in the Great Recession of 2007-2009, Medicaid enrollment in New York peaked seven months after unemployment peaked. Robin Rudowitz of the Kaiser Family Foundation tells me that Medicaid enrollment continued to climb nationwide after the Great Recession officially ended, and that state Medicaid directors whom Kaiser surveyed at the end of April anticipated increases extending throughout the year.

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