Medicaid enrollments top 7 million under Obamacare
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[August 09, 2014]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than
seven million Americans have gained health coverage through government
programs including Medicaid since enrollment in Obamacare health
insurance was launched October 1, the U.S. administration said on
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said 7.2
million new participants in Medicaid and the Children's Health
Insurance Program by June brought overall Medicaid enrollment to 66
The enrollees include uninsured Americans who gained coverage
through traditional Medicaid, as well as a special Medicaid
expansion in 26 of the 50 U.S. states under President Barack Obama's
Affordable Care Act.
Traditional Medicaid programs often cover only a patchwork of poor
individuals, including pregnant women and disabled elderly.
The Obamacare expansion extends coverage to all Americans earning up
to 133 percent of the federal poverty line, or $15,521 for an
individual and $31,720 for a family of four.
Two dozen states, many led by Republicans opposed to Obamacare, have
not expanded Medicaid coverage. HHS said 5.7 million low-income
people remain uninsured in those states.
States that expanded Medicaid have seen enrollment surge 18.5
percent, while those that have not expanded the program registered
only a 4 percent increase, according to HHS.
The Medicaid expansion is a centerpiece of the healthcare reform
law, which also created new online marketplaces to provide federally
subsidized private health insurance plans that have enrolled an
additional 8 million people.
Open enrollment for private insurance ended in the spring. Medicaid
enrollment remains open year round.
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The administration has been unable to say how many new enrollees
obtained private or public coverage for the first time under
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated that
10.3 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage through the
marketplaces and Medicaid, resulting in a 5.2 percentage point drop
in the U.S. uninsured rate since last September.
The study was produced by researchers from HHS, the Harvard School
of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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