CT state budget spends less on Medicaid than other states, saving $209 million

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The latest MACStats data release repeated trends from years ago but held a few new nuggets. Last July 857,415, or one in four, Connecticut residents were covered by Medicaid.

Connecticut spent 14.9% of our state budget on Medicaid, below the US average of 16%. Our surrounding states were all above the US average — Massachusetts 16.6%, New York 16.8%, and Rhode Island 18.8%. Last year, if Connecticut spent as much on Medicaid as the US average, it would have cost us $209 million more in state taxes.

As in the past and as for the rest of the nation, most of Connecticut’s Medicaid funding covers care for aged and disabled members. In FY 2014, children and adults were 77% of Connecticut Medicaid enrollment but accounted for just 44% of spending. A disabled Connecticut Medicaid member cost nine times more than a child and an aged member cost five times more than an adult in the program.

Newly eligible members under the Affordable Care Act expansion cost a bit less per person in FY 2018 than all members ($8,178 vs. $8,857). Interestingly, in FY 2018 brand name drugs accounted for only 23% of Connecticut Medicaid prescriptions but 86.5% of gross drug spending in the program. Note that this doesn’t include the impact of rebates.