KHI News Service

Feds report uptick in number of Kansans seeking Medicaid or CHIP enrollment

By KHI NEWS SERVICE | February 28, 2014


CMS Medicaid Enrollment Report

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Federal officials reported today that Kansas received more than 10,000 applications for Medicaid or CHIP in January, a 20 percent increase over the monthly average prior to the launch of the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplace last October.

According to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, of the 10,022 applications submitted for the government programs that provide health coverage to the poor and disabled, 8,438 were deemed eligible for Medicaid and 901 were eligible for CHIP, the acronym for the Children's Health Insurance Program.

In Kansas, Medicaid and CHIP are grouped together under the name KanCare.

CMS officials noted that the numbers in the report, which covered all states, were "preliminary," and based on reports provided to the agency by the individual state Medicaid agencies. In Kansas, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is the lead Medicaid agency.

KDHE officials weren't immediately available to confirm the numbers.

An update from CMS of the state's December 2013 application numbers showed that they were down almost 11 percent that month over pre-marketplace monthly averages.

According to CMS, more than 2.4 million people nationally were enrolled in the programs, part of 8.8 million enrolled since Oct. 1, 2013 when the ACA marketplace was launched.

States, including Kansas, have streamlined and modernized their Medicaid enrollment processing in step with the Affordable Care Act and in keeping with the federal government's "no wrong door," policy, which means that people can apply for Medicaid either directly with the state or through the marketplace.

The report showed that collectively Medicaid applications were up 11 percent over earlier monthly averages in the 25 states, including Kansas, that have not eased Medicaid eligibility rules, though the percentage varied widely state to state.

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