Swelling Medicaid enrollment strains state budgets

A new article from Pew Trusts describes the pressure that rising Medicaid enrollment, in response to sweeping job losses, is placing on state budgets. This swell in enrollment is happening while state budgets are already under tremendous pressure from the pandemic. New research shows that Medicaid enrollment has risen through May but lagging data availability mean the pandemic’s full effects are still unknown. The share of Medicaid expenses paid by states varies and is largely linked to personal income levels within the state (range: 22% to 50%), with states paying much lower shares (10%) for beneficiaries eligible through Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Options include additional federal support (some has already been provided) or slashing reimbursement rates to Medicaid providers, which will further discourage providers from seeing Medicaid enrollees at a time of critical and expanding inequity in COVID-19 outcomes. #covid-19

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