Higher-Than-Expected Enrollment in Some Expansion States

Medicaid expansion enrollment was significantly higher than expected in more than a dozen states, reports the Associated Press, with possible contributing factors including high demand and successful outreach efforts. States that enrolled more expansion adults than initially projected include Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, and Oregon. Some states have revised their Medicaid budget estimates due to the higher enrollment, according to the AP, though many states also experienced budget savings and gains as a result of shifting some people to Medicaid from fully state-funded programs, increased revenue from insurer and provider taxes, and a reduction of uncompensated care, as reported in two Manatt/Robert Wood Johnson analyses.

Michigan: Access to Doctors Increases after Medicaid Expansion

Health Affairs University of Michigan study that examined primary care appointment availability for new patients before and after implementation of the State’s Medicaid expansion indicated that Medicaid recipients experienced increased access to primary care providers, while enrollees in private insurance experienced decreased access. Appointment availability for new patients with Medicaid increased by 6 percentage points following Medicaid expansion, while availability decreased by 2 percentage points for the privately insured. The study noted that Michigan’s Medicaid expansion requires enrollees to be seen by a primary care provider within 60-90 days of enrollment and called for further research to determine if this pattern is occurring in other states and whether it will persist over time.