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Issue Brief: Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Grows Over Five Years

By Scott C. Brunner, M.A. | September 30, 2014

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Issue Brief: Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Grows Over Five Years

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Recent analysis by the Kansas Health Institute (KHI) shows that enrollment in Kansas Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) grew by 29.1 percent over the past five years. The programs serve nearly 400,000 Kansans. KHI has issued a new brief that discusses the trends in Medicaid and CHIP enrollment in the state from 2009 to 2013, including details from the first year of the state’s Medicaid managed care program, KanCare.

Kansas Medicaid and CHIP enrollment, 2009-2013

Individuals eligible for Medicaid are primarily children and families with low incomes, people with disabilities and low-income seniors. CHIP is a related program providing health insurance for low-income children who are not eligible for Medicaid because their family income is above the Medicaid eligibility cutoff.

  • Over the past five years, total enrollment in both Kansas Medicaid and CHIP has increased from 308,821 to 398,774 (29.1 percent).
  • Enrollment for children and families in Medicaid increased by 38.6 percent, and CHIP enrollment grew by 39.4 percent during this period.

KanCare’s first year (2012-2013)

In contrast to the previous four years, there was a historically low growth rate for Medicaid and CHIP enrollment during KanCare’s first year – at only 2.1 percent. That was consistent with growth at the national level of 1.3 percent for the same time period. However, it’s important to look at the Kansas Medicaid and CHIP programs separately to understand the trend.

  • Unlike previous years, Kansas Medicaid saw essentially no growth (0.1 percent) in the number of children and families enrolled.
  • CHIP added 6,500 children in 2013, the category with the largest increase in enrollment at 13.6 percent.

“This historically low growth rate in 2013 for Medicaid and CHIP is surprising, given that eligibility criteria didn’t change with the implementation of KanCare, and with all of the attention about health insurance options with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act,” said Scott Brunner, senior analyst and strategy team leader for Coverage and Access at KHI. “The Kansas economy has improved, which generally would result in fewer people being eligible for these public programs, but it isn’t yet clear what other factors might have contributed.”

Download this issue brief here (PDF).

For more information

Contact Lisa R. Jones, Director of Strategic Communications

(785) 233-5443 or ljones@khi.org

The Kansas Health Institute delivers credible information and research enabling policy leaders to make informed health policy decisions that enhance their effectiveness as champions for a healthier Kansas. The Kansas Health Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy and research organization based in Topeka that was established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation.