The Obama administration announced on Friday that the number of individuals enrolled in Medicaid increased by 3 million between October and February. That number doesn't include data from Connecticut or North Dakota, and it doesn't include enrollments for any of March. What we do know is that most of the gains were made, unsurprisingly, in states that decided to expand Medicaid. Here's what to keep in mind:
We don't know how many people signed up because of Obamacare
There's no way to tell if people became eligible for Medicaid through Obamacare, so tweets like this are inaccurate
Still, expansion states increased enrollments by an average of 8.3 percent, compared to an average of 1.6 percent in states that declined the expansion. Oregon, Vermont, and West Virginia each saw enrollments increase by over 30 percent in that period.
The administration is already using that to encourage the 25 states that haven't expanded to reconsider. "There's no deadline for states to expand, so we're going to keep working with the remaining states as they decide to come on board," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote in a blog post.
Some states haven't expanded yet
Michigan's Medicaid expansion began on April 1, and New Hampshire's will begin on July 1. Michigan's program, like Arkansas's, isn't completely free — it requires premiums and small co-pays.
There's no deadline to enroll in Medicaid
Medicaid is open for enrollment year long, but as Politico points out, the publicity around the March 31 deadline for private insurance was meant to boost numbers. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 8 million people would enroll in Medicaid or CHIP this year, according to Politico, even with 24 states declining the expansion.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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