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Newsletter Article


Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Continues to Rise Slowly

By Rebecca Adams, CQ HealthBeat Associate Editor

December 18, 2014 -- Enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) grew by 9.7 million people in October, compared to a rolling average covering July–September of 2013. That's nearly a 17 percent rise in a little more than a year.

The total number of people in Medicaid or CHIP stood at 68.5 million in October, up from about 67.6 million in August.

In September and October, growth has been slower than in some periods earlier this year. The change from September to October was 428,311 more people, or about six-tenths of a percent.

That could change with the increase in publicity about health care coverage this month. The administration has urged people who want to enroll in or keep marketplace plans to sign up this month for benefits starting on Jan. 1.

States that implemented the Medicaid expansion and were covering newly eligible adults in October 2014 saw Medicaid and CHIP enrollment rise by more than 24 percent compared to the July–September 2013 baseline period. States that have not expanded Medicaid reported an increase of nearly 7 percent over the same period, the report said.

The largest increases over the past year were in Kentucky, which saw a nearly 71.5 percent increase in its Medicaid and CHIP population; Nevada, whose programs grew by nearly 68.1 percent, and Oregon, where programs grew by almost 64.2 percent.

A few states saw declines. Utah's Medicaid and CHIP population decreased by 5.8 percent over the past year, and Nebraska's programs fell by more than 2.7 percent over that time.

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