Performance Improvement 2008. What Are the Historical and Projected Trends in Medicaid Enrollment and Spending?


Using existing data sources, staff compiled historical and projected trends for Medicaid program enrollment and financing. Medicaid provides health and long-term care services to low-income families, elderly and disabled individuals. It is the largest health insurance program in the United States. It spends approximately $300 billion annually providing services to approximately 60 million people. Given the projected spending growth rate for Medicaid over the next ten years, questions have been raised about the program's financial sustainability. Both Medicare and Social Security have annual Trustees' reports that provide policymakers and the public with a measure of those programs´ financial viability. Since Medicaid is paid out of general revenues and does not have a group of trustees to periodically report on its status, this study provided a more complete picture of the future of the program than previously available.

Enrollment growth (increases in the number of people eligible for and receiving benefits) in the Medicaid program will play a large part in determining future spending. The growth in enrollment will vary by eligibility category (children, adults, aged, and disabled). This uneven growth by eligibility category will affect spending trends. The increase in enrollment is estimated to be disproportionately larger for those categories of enrollees that have higher per capita spending: the aged and disabled. The rate of increase in Medicaid spending will likely exceed the rate of increase in overall health care spending.

Report Title: Historical and Projected Trends in Medicaid;
Agency Sponsor:
ASPE-OHP, Office of Health Policy
Federal Contact: Thomas Musco, 202-690-7272
Performer: ASPE Staff
PIC ID: 8482

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"PerformanceImprovement2008.pdf" (pdf, 1.29Mb)

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