Starting in 2014, the new health reform law will expand Medicaid coverage to most of the population below 133 percent of federal poverty level, amounting to about 15.9 million newly eligible enrollees by 2019. In a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, John Holahan and Irene Headen of the Urban Institute crunch the numbers and provide a state-by-state breakdown of what the Medicaid expansion means to states -- and their budgets.
The expansion is great news for the millions of low-income Americans (including childless adults) in need of health care. By 2019, there will be a 45 percent reduction in the number of uninsured adults under 133 percent FPL. Cash-strapped states might have mixed feelings about the expansion, but there is some good news for them -- the federal government will pick up the tab for covering the newly eligibles. For the first three years, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs, and in subsequent years, the federal government’s share will phase down to 90 percent of the cost of extending coverage. All told, between 2014 and 2019, the federal government will pay out an average of $443.5 billion (about 95 percent of the total cost), while states will contribute $21.2 billion.