Most states expanded their Medicaid eligibility and enrollment efforts in 2010 even as many grappled with budget deficits in the last months of the Great Recession, according to the annual 50-state survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.
Medicaid, CHIP access widens, survey finds
Forty-eight states and Washington, D.C., either maintained or expanded their Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program eligibility and enrollment efforts, as required to receive some of the $87 billion in extra federal funding for those programs offered through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
“Overall, these continuing gains, even in the face of a recession, indicates an ongoing commitment by President Obama, these states and their governors,” said Tricia Brooks, senior fellow at Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, which co-authored the survey.
Ongoing efforts by states to expand eligibility and outreach—along with an influx of federal funding—resulted in historic enrollments in CHIP and Medicaid programs nationwide. For instance, Medicaid grew at its fastest rate since its launch in the 1960s in the 12 months before December 2009, according to the latest data available from the Kaiser Commission. Specific access expansions included changes by 13 states in 2010 that allow more children to qualify for coverage under either Medicaid or CHIP, according to the survey.
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