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Medicaid Enrollment: June 2013 Data Snapshot

Methodology. This study is based on data provided by each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Health Management Associates asked each state to provide the internal reports they use to track enrollment in the program. Each state’s report included total enrollment and enrollment in certain eligibility categories. Report categories are not standardized across states. Where it was possible to do so, the state enrollment data were grouped to further examine trends in specific Medicaid eligibility categories. The data tables and graphs in this document present “point-in-time” monthly Medicaid enrollment counts for the months of June and December of each year from 2000 through 2013 rather than “ever-enrolled” counts published by CMS. The data were provided to HMA by each state Medicaid program in November and early December 2013.  Historical data may change over time as states change how they report their enrollment data as well as if a state provides revised data for previous time periods.

Net Change. The data collected for this report are net changes in enrollment across the program and within select eligibility groups, taking into account the net impact of individuals enrolling and disenrolling from the Medicaid program. Because these data are not individual level data and states do not make a distinction between enrollment among current beneficiaries and new beneficiaries, it is not possible to determine from this data the number of individuals that left the program and the number that newly enrolled in a given time period, i.e. the churn within the program. For example, this data set cannot be used to determine how many of the 55.0 million beneficiaries enrolled in June 2013 had also been enrolled in June 2012.

Definitions of Medicaid Enrollment. The counts provided by the states reflect all persons with Medicaid eligibility for each month. Every person with Medicaid coverage was counted as an enrollee with the exception of family planning waiver enrollees and pharmacy plus waiver enrollees. No adjustment was made for other persons who are enrolled in Medicaid categories with less than full coverage. Therefore the enrollment figures reported here include a small number of individuals that are covered by Medicaid only for emergency services as well as persons with Medicare and Medicaid dual eligibility enrolled as either Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMBs) or Qualified Individuals (QIs) for whom Medicaid pays only a portion of Medicare premiums, copays and deductibles or as Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs) for whom Medicaid covers some additional services Medicare does not as well as the premium and cost-sharing assistance provided to SLMBs or QIs. To the extent possible, state-only health coverage programs and Medicaid expansion CHIP enrollees not funded by Medicaid are excluded.

Non-Disabled Children and Non-Disabled, Non-Elderly Adults. To remain consistent with other enrollment reports, such as the Medicaid Statistical Information System (MSIS), this report groups disabled children in the elderly and disabled category. However, the detail provided in enrollment reports from states varies in the level of detail available. Most states are able to provide data that breaks out the number of non-disabled children either within the same report or through a separate report. In 2 states (IL and WI) some estimation is required due to differences in report totals to determine the number of non-disabled children. Raw data used for California only breaks out children compared to adults and does not break out non-disabled children from disabled children in more recent periods. To make this measure comparable to other states, the ratio of all non-disabled children to all non-disabled, non-elderly adults from an earlier time period was applied to the non-disabled, non-elderly group.

Additionally, there are a relatively small number of enrollees for whom their eligibility pathway was not identified by the state. These individuals were included in the non-disabled, non-elderly adult counts unless they were clearly identified as children.

State Variation in Enrollment Reports.  Common variations across the states include how states count “spend-down” enrollees and whether states adjust for “retroactive” eligibiles. Some states include in their enrollment counts persons with excess income that qualify to “spend-down” to Medicaid eligibility whether or not they have incurred sufficient medical costs to become eligible for Medicaid in that month. Other states only include those individuals that have met their “spend-down” requirement. Since a primary goal of this report is to identify trends, these variations have been deemed acceptable given that the state does not change its methodology over time. Data for some states include “retroactive” eligibles, i.e., individuals whose Medicaid eligibility is established at a later date, but whose coverage is retroactive to a prior point in time. Effort was made to use reports that reflect retroactive eligibility where they exist. Yet, it is possible that additional changes occurred after the counts provided for use here.

Conclusion Appendix A: Table A-1: Total Medicaid Enrollment by State