Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—August 8, 2014.
By Cindy Mann, Deputy Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Director of the Centers for Medicaid and CHIP Services
Over the last year, we’ve seen the Affordable Care Act deliver on a number of important milestones as we work toward more accessible, affordable, quality health care. New options have meant that 10.3 million previously uninsured Americans can now rest a little easier knowing that they are covered. And millions more can rest assured that quality, affordable health insurance will be available through the Marketplace if they ever need it, without worrying about being charged more or denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
This historic expansion of coverage has happened while health care spending growth has fallen to the slowest rate on record, which strengthens our nation’s budget outlook and keeps more of Americans’ paychecks in their pockets.
And today’s Medicaid enrollment report shows even more great news: Medicaid expansion continues to help an unprecedented number of Americans access health coverage for the very first time.
Medicaid enrollment grew to over 66 million in June 2014 with more than 7.2 million additional people enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program compared to an average monthly enrollment prior to the start of open enrollment. And because enrollment in these programs can happen year-round, our latest report shows that number is still growing.
Behind these numbers are unique stories about Americans across the country, who no longer have to choose between paying an electric bill and going to the doctor or getting a screening.
The Affordable Care Act has helped families all over the country find the peace of mind that comes with coverage, but it could be doing even more.
Today’s report shows that while enrollment in states that expanded Medicaid has risen by 18.5 percent since before open enrollment in the Marketplace began, states that have not expanded reported only a 4 percent increase in enrollment during this same period. If the remaining 24 states accept federal funding to cover low-income adults in Medicaid, 5.7 million more low-income Americans could have access to affordable, quality care. The new coverage available through Medicaid is paid for by 100 percent federal funds in the first three years, and federal funding never falls below 90 percent of the costs after that.
Not only would this change the lives of some of our most vulnerable neighbors, extending Medicaid in these states would bolster our health system and our economy. Increased coverage reduces hospitals’ uncompensated care and lowers “cost shifting” to businesses and everyday Americans that see higher health insurance premiums when those costs are passed on to them. And with new funding for hospitals and other community health services, local economies benefit as well.
The evidence is in: The Affordable Care Act is making a difference. It’s working for Americans across this nation, but the job isn’t over so long as families and workers in almost half of our states can’t access affordable health insurance. More than half the states have taken advantage of federal funding to cover their low-income residents and we encourage the other 24 states to expand Medicaid as soon as possible. Every American—no matter where they live—should have access to affordable, high quality health care.
To read today’s report visit http://medicaid.gov/AffordableCareAct/Medicaid-Moving-Forward-2014/Medicaid-Moving-Forward-2014.html