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Medicaid Costs on the Rise, but No More than Expected

A recently released report indicates that spending on Medicaid has risen almost 14 percent in the last year. Analysts from the Kaiser Family Foundation indicate that the increase is a result of an upswing in now-eligible enrollees from the 29 states that have expanded the program through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Currently, Florida has chosen not to participate in this expansion.

Costs per member holding steady

While spending has increased overall with increased enrollments, the report shows that the cost per member each month remains steady, and in some states is actually less than expected. The reason for this is that the federal government is covering nearly all of the spending, footing the bill for the expansion of Medicaid through 2016. The feds will also cover about 90 percent of the expansion in subsequent years.

Medicaid expansion states saw increases in enrollment

Spending essentially matches the percentage of enrollment increases overall, with both coming in at just below 14 percent in the 2015 fiscal year. In the states that have expanded Medicaid, enrollment has increased by 18 percent, with spending increasing 17.7 percent. States like Florida that have not expanded Medicaid have more modest growth at 5.1 percent, with spending increasing by 6.1 percent.

The Kaiser report also found that states that expanded their programs recognized savings in other parts of their budgets. The coverage of more low-income adults led to lower state and county expenditures for mental health and hospital care for those patients. Additionally, the costs per member are lower for new enrollees, as they tend to be younger and in better health than traditional Medicaid participants.

If you would like to discuss how these changes might affect your Medicaid benefits in Florida, contact a knowledgeable Florida attorney at the Charles Law Offices today.

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