March CMS Medicaid Report: Net increase of 12.2M (actually 13.2M)

While everyone is waiting for the King v. Burwell decision to come out in a few weeks, the CMS Dept. has quietly released their latest monthly Medicaid/CHIP enrollment report...which happens to line up almost perfectly with what I was expecting:

  • Nearly 71.1 million individuals were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP in March 2015. This enrollment count is point-in-time (on the last day of the month) and includes all enrollees in the Medicaid and CHIP programs who are receiving a comprehensive benefit package.
  • 534,845 additional people were enrolled in March 2015 as compared to February 2015 in the 51 states that reported comparable March and February 2015 data.
  • Looking at the additional enrollment since October 2013 when the initial Marketplace open enrollment period began, among the 49 states reporting both March 2015 enrollment data and data from July-September of 2013, over 12.2 million additional individuals are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of March 2015, an approximately 21.2 percent increase over the average monthly enrollment for July through September of 2013.9 (Connecticut and Maine are not included in this count.)

But wait, you're saying; according to The Graph, you estimated the net increase as 13.2 million, nearly a million more than CMS is reporting!

Yes, that's true...but don't forget this part:

  • 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. Seven states implemented an “early option” to expand Medicaid coverage to adults

Naturally, there's also a massive Expansion vs. Non-Expansion divide as well:

  • Among states that had implemented the Medicaid expansion and were covering newly eligible adults in March 2015, Medicaid and CHIP enrollment rose by approximately 28.1 percent compared to the July-September 2013 baseline period, while states that have not, to date, expanded Medicaid reported an increase of nearly 8.6 percent over the same period.

The 8.6% Medicaid/CHIP increase in NON-expansion states is due to the "woodworker" effect (which also accounts for some portion of the expansion states as well.

Of course, The Graph itself doesn't stop at the end of February. My own projections actually have the current net gain up to around 13.9 million as of early June (or 12.9 million if you don't include the "bulk transfers"):