CNBC: Medicaid enrollment jump spurred by Obamacare, but how much?

Enrollment in Medicaid spiked in December, aided by Obamacare exchanges and an expansion of the government-run health coverage program for the poor in 25 states.

But it was far from clear just how many of the Medicaid enrollees are new people drawn by Affordable Care Act-related initiatives, as opposed to re-enrollments, according to a leading health-care analyst who called the data released Wednesday “confusing.”

By the end of December, more than 6.3 million people were determined to be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, the program covering children, through state-run agencies and state-based Obamacare exchanges, according to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services report released Wednesday.

That tally does not include the 750,000 or so people who were determined eligible in Medicaid through the federally-run Obamacare exchange

Adding the two enrollment numbers together equals more than 7 million Medicaid-eligible determinations. But some of the determinations made by may be duplicative of state-based decisions.

Another 2.2 million or so people had purchased private Obamacare insurance through a federally run or state-run exchange by the end of December.

Medicaid enrollment in December through the state-based entities alone 2.3 million people, according to CMS, which noted that represented a 20 percent hike in the rate of sign ups over November’s tally.

The enrollments came nationally, both in 25 states which are not expanding Medicare eligibility to include most poor adults, as well as states that are expanding. The sign-ups included the newly eligible, re-enrollments, and people who previously qualified for Medicaid but did not enroll for some reason.


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