Medicaid rolls up 3.9% since February

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The number of people getting medical assistance through the state is up by 40,158 or 3.9% from February to last month, according to new numbers from DSS. This was expected as people lose jobs and the employer-sponsored coverage that comes with those jobs. With less income more state residents were expected to qualify for Medicaid. DSS also instituted a moratorium on terminations that started in March. (As people can qualify in more than one category during a month, there may be double counts.) This is in contrast to the dip DSS reported to the Medicaid oversight council in June, which was surprising. So far, the increase is much lower than April estimates of up to 271,000 more members by now. But the numbers may grow further.

It was expected that employer sponsored coverage would drop and Medicaid would increase as unemployment rose during the recession. That would explain that the increases were largely limited to Husky Parts A (families, up 4.5%) and D (childless adults, up 9.2%). There was a 2.7% decrease in HUSKY Part B enrollment (children from slightly higher income households) which may also be due to lower family incomes. There was also a decrease in HUSKY Part C (seniors and people with disabilities) enrollment by 3,550 individuals or 4.0%. I’d prefer not to speculate on what caused that.