The Washington Times: States see big disparities in Obamacare Medicaid sign-ups

Most new enrollees coming from just 10 states 

Avalere Health, a Washington consultancy, analyzed new data from the Obama administration and released a color-coded map that shows a wide disparity in enrollment totals from state to state, with California, Florida, Oregon and Washington bringing in the most new participants in the government health program for low-income Americans.

“We continue to see dramatic variations across the states in terms of enrollment into new coverage programs,” said Jenna Stento, a senior manager at Avalere. “While some differences may be a result of state decisions to expand Medicaid, certain non-expansion states are also seeing large increases in Medicaid enrollment.”

While enrollment into health plans on Obamacare’s exchanges are restricted by opening and closing dates, persons can enroll in Medicaid year round.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 8 million new Medicaid enrollees would join the program in 2014. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last week said that through February, 3 million new enrollees had joined Medicaid. 

Avalere said that number could reach 3.7 million if enrollment increases at a steady rate, or 4.3 million if enrollment draws the same kind of interest that private health plan exchanges drew at the end of March.

President Obama’s overhaul called on the states to expand Medicaid to Americans making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, but only 26 states and the District chose to expand after the Supreme Court made it optional.

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