As of the end of April, 6 million more individuals were enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as compared to the period before the initial open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act started. That includes 1.1 million additional people enrolled in April as compared to March in the 48 states that reported data for both April and March.
And, as we've seen for months, growth was more pronounced in states that adopted the Medicaid expansion: Enrollment in those states rose by 15.3 percent compared to the average enrollment from July through September 2013 while states that have not expanded reported only a 3.3 percent increase in enrollment during that same time period.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, many consumers now have access to new, affordable, private health insurance options in the Health Insurance Marketplace, while many others are now eligible for their state's Medicaid programs. These gains are made possible by collaboration between CMS and the states that operate these programs.
The Affordable Care Act provides states with new opportunities to expand their Medicaid programs to meet the needs of more uninsured residents. In states that expanded Medicaid, most individuals with incomes up to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, or $15,521 for an individual and $31,721 for a family of four, are eligible for coverage.
And under the Affordable Care Act, coverage for newly eligible adult beneficiaries is fully paid for during the first three years by the federal government, and is never less than 90 percent for the years following. In addition, increased coverage reduces hospitals' uncompensated care, lowers "cost shifting" to businesses that see higher health insurance premiums, as some of the costs of caring for the uninsured are passed on to them, and strengthens local economies.
While the open enrollment period has ended for the federal or state Health Insurance Marketplaces, consumers may apply for Medicaid and CHIP coverage year round. People are eligible for coverage at any time if they qualify.
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