- On Friday, HHS announced that over 7 million Americans gained coverage through Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program between the Obamacare enrollment launch October 1 and June of this year. Total Medicaid enrollment is now 66 million.
- Enrollees include previously-uninsured individuals who acquired coverage through traditional Medicaid avenues as well as through state Medicaid expansions mandated under the Affordable Care Act.
- Although the open enrollment period for private ACA plans ended in the spring, Medicaid enrollment remains open year-round.
Although 26 states have expanded Medicaid under the ACA, some two-dozen (mostly Republican-led) states have still resisted the mandate. According to HHS, 5.7 million low-income individuals are without coverage in those states. States that have expanded the program have seen significant drops in their uninsured rate, and hospitals have benefited accordingly from a commensurate drop in uncompensated care. In Michigan, enrollment surpassed the Healthy Michigan Plan's first-year target of 322,000 in only a few months.
"I think in general our finance folks [are saying] that there is a leveling off or a decline in uncompensated care," said Andy Kruse, vice president of mission integration at Genesys Health System in Grand Blanc, MI. (Genesys usually reports $35 million to $40 million a year in uncompensated care.)
Researchers from HHS, the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston produced the HHS study.
Want to read more? You may enjoy this story about how Medicaid expansion lowered uncompensated care in MI or this story about the narrow window of opportunity for Medicaid expansion.