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Medicaid, CHIP enrollees increased by 2.3 million in December

  |   Jan. 22, 2014 at 8:03 PM
WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- In December, 2.3 million people enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program -- an increase of 20 percent from November, U.S. officials say.

A report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said the numbers included both Medicaid and CHIP new eligibility determinations in states that expanded coverage, determinations made on prior law, and in some states, Medicaid renewals and groups not affected by the healthcare law.

These numbers do not include Medicaid eligibility determinations made through the federally facilitated healthcare marketplaces -- HealthCare.gov officials said.

Due to the Affordable Care Act more people are eligible for their state's Medicaid or CHIP programs.

The Affordable Care Act provides states with the opportunity to expand their Medicaid programs to meet the needs of more uninsured residents. In states that expanded coverage, most individuals with incomes up to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level -- $15,282 for an individual and $31,322 for a family of four -- are eligible for Medicaid coverage this year.

Compared to the average for July through September, the number of December Medicaid enrollees were 73 percent higher in states that chose to expand Medicaid compared to 3 percent in states that rejected the expansion.

Coverage for newly eligible adult beneficiaries is fully federally paid for under the Affordable Care Act for the first three years, and never less than 90 percent for the years following, CMS officials said.

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