More people are enrolling in Medicaid, and much of the increase is driven by the COVID-19 emergency.
Or so reports the organization Families USA in a new study.
According to the study,
Over half of the 38 states reporting monthly enrollment through May or later have seen greater than 7% growth in enrollment since February. For the eight states reporting August enrollment, their average enrollment growth since February is approximately 11%.
But the implications are even greater, according to the analysis, which found that in large part because of COVID-19 job loss,
Medicaid enrollment among the 38 states reporting has already increased by 4.3 million people and is poised to increase much more in the near future. Analysis by Health Management Associates projects that up to 27 million people will lose their job-based insurance this year and that Medicaid will see an increase in enrollment of up to 18 million people by the end of 2020, depending on the severity of the economic downturn.
The effects of COVID-19 job loss and accompanying loss of insurance already appears to be visible in Pennsylvania, where Medicaid enrollment rose from 2.84 million in March of 2020 to 2.89 million in April, 2.94 million in May, and 2.977 million in June. Growing Medicaid enrollment poses a challenge for Pennsylvania’s safety-net hospitals because they care for so many low-income patients and payments from the state’s Medicaid program often do not cover the cost of the care they provide.
Learn more about the nation-wide trend in the Families USA report “Rapid Increases in Medicaid Enrollment: A Review of Data from Six Months.”