New data suggests that those who have joined the Medicaid rolls as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are not costing the federal government as much as those who were previously enrolled.
But it also suggests that the budgetary impacts of increased Medicaid access differs dramatically between states.
According to an analysis of federal figures by the Kaiser Family Foundation, new adult Medicaid enrollees only account for 10 percent of Medicaid spending across the country, even though those enrollees make up 13 percent of the total population covered by Medicaid.
The more useful figure, however, may be the 16 percent share of spending that the new group accounted for in states that actually expanded Medicaid to individuals and families with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
Twelve percent of that spending is going to cover those who are newly eligible for Medicaid, while 4 percent is financing additional enrollees who were previously eligible under the old rules but whose state-financed coverage is now reimbursed at a higher rate by the federal government than before.
The average cost of each new enrollee in 2014 was $4,513, 37 percent lower than the average of $7,150 that states spent on Medicaid recipients in all groups.
But some states saw spending increase drastically with the additional Medicaid enrollment.
Leading the pack was Washington state, where new enrollees accounted for 31 percent of the state’s Medicaid spending.