States eye Medicaid hikes

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In a sign that the economy continues its recovery from the devastating recession of 2008, most states are committed to raising Medicaid fees in fiscal years 2014 and 2015, research from the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid has found. 

“Medicaid in an Era of Change,” an analysis of national trends in state Medicaid enrollment and spending from KCMU, also found  coverage expansions under the Affordable Care Act are resulting in higher enrollment and total overall spending growth in Medicaid. 

Even so, with full federal government financing of the Medicaid expansion, state Medicaid spending is actually growing more slowly than total spending, KCMU researchers found.

In fiscal 2014, enrollment increased on average by 8.3%. Moreover, new coverage and spending at the enhanced match rate contributed to overall Medicaid spending growth of 10.2%. 

Non-expansion states reported more consistent growth rates across enrollment, total spending and state spending.

There were 24 states in fiscal 2014 and five states in the following year that expanded existing Medicaid “eligibility pathways,” the report said. Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, and Maine instituted eligibility restrictions in fiscal year 2014.