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Medicaid Enrollment Continued to Grow at Year's End, Report Shows

By Rebecca Adams, CQ Roll Call

February 24, 2015 -- The pace of Medicaid and children's health coverage enrollment continued to grow steadily in December, rising nearly 0.8 percent from the previous month.

Almost 10.8 million people were enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program in December, according to an enrollment report that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released last week. 

The programs grew nearly 18.6 percent, or by nearly 10.8 million people, from the average enrollment in the months just before the first open enrollment period for marketplace plans began in October 2013 to December 2014.

The increase from November to December was essentially the same as in the previous month. Enrollment from October 2014 to November 2014 grew by 0.79 percent, according to figures that were revised upward slightly from preliminary estimates. 

In Kentucky, the state with the largest growth, the programs ballooned by nearly 76.9 percent over that timeframe. Vermont's enrollment swelled by nearly 70.7 percent, while programs in Nevada grew by 64.9 percent and in Oregon by nearly 64.6 percent.

States that expanded Medicaid, like those states, grew most dramatically, although most states' enrollment rose at least a bit. The average increase in the programs in states that had implemented broader Medicaid eligibility guidelines was just over 27 percent, while the average in non-expansion states was 7.3 percent.

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