The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new Enrollment Trends Snapshot report showing a record high, over 80 million individuals have health coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Nearly 9.9 million individuals, a 13.9% increase, enrolled in coverage between February 2020, the month before the public health emergency (PHE) was declared, and January 2021. Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, a total of 80,543,351 people were enrolled and receiving full benefits from the Medicaid and CHIP programs by the end of January 2021. In the 50 states that reported total Medicaid child and CHIP enrollment data for January 2021, over 38.3 million children were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP combined, approximately 50% of the total Medicaid and CHIP enrollment. Both programs serve as the largest single source of health coverage in the country.
The increase in total Medicaid and CHIP enrollment is largely attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 PHE, in particular, enactment of section 6008 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). FFCRA provides states with a temporary 6.2% payment increase in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding. States qualify for this enhanced funding by adhering to the Maintenance of Effort requirement, which ensures eligible people enrolled in Medicaid stay enrolled and covered during the PHE.
CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said, “For the parents that may have lost a job or had another life change during the pandemic, having access to coverage for themselves and their kids is life-changing. CMS is committed to ensuring our nation’s marginalized communities and low-income families have the coverage they need.”
To assist states and territories in their response to the COVID-19 PHE, CMS developed numerous strategies to support Medicaid and CHIP programs in times of crisis, including granting states more flexibility in their Medicaid and CHIP operations. This data release also reflects a range of indicators related to key application, eligibility, and enrollment processes from within state Medicaid and CHIP agencies.
The Snapshot is a product of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid CHIP Services (CMCS) Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Learning Collaborative (MACLC), which monitors Medicaid and CHIP enrollment trends, primarily using the CMS Performance Indicator (PI) data reported to CMS by state Medicaid and CHIP agencies. PI data reflects key Medicaid and CHIP business processes- including applications, renewals, eligibility determinations, and enrollment.