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One Year into Duals Demo Enrollment: Early Expectations Meet Reality

One year into initial enrollment in the Medicare-Medicaid financial alignment demonstrations for dual eligible beneficiaries, some initial insights are beginning to emerge. This policy insight highlights key challenges and trends emerging in states’ demonstrations.

Medicaid at 50

The Medicaid program, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 30, 1965, will reach its 50th anniversary this year, a historic milestone. This report reflects on Medicaid’s accomplishments and challenges and considers the issues on the horizon that will influence the course of this major health coverage and financing program moving forward.

Medicaid Moving Forward

Medicaid is the nation’s main public health insurance program for people with low incomes, and it is the single largest source of health coverage in the U.S., covering nearly 70 million Americans. Medicaid also finances 16% of total personal health spending in the nation. States design and administer their own Medicaid programs within federal requirements, and states and the federal government finance the program jointly. As a major payer, Medicaid is a core source of financing for safety-net hospitals and health centers that serve low-income communities, including many of the uninsured. It is also the main source of coverage and financing for both nursing home and community-based long-term care.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.