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Minnesota Medicaid Enrollment Growth Slows

Minnesota Medicaid Enrollment Growth Slows

Enrollment this year grew at less than half the national rate.

The number of Minnesota residents enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) rose by just 1.1 percent this year, according to the latest annual report on Medicaid enrollment and spending from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
 
The 99-page report, Medicaid Moving Ahead in Uncertain Times, is based on a survey of Medicaid directors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
 
Medicaid enrollment grew 2.7 percent nationally this year, according to the report. That figure is based on the change in average monthly enrollment in each state. That’s down from a 3.9 percent increase in enrollment in 2016.
 
In Minnesota, Medicaid enrollment inched up to 1,061,615 in June from 1,049,997 in June 2016. Last year’s figure represented a 2 percent increase from June 2015, when 1,029,724 received their health benefits through Medicaid or CHIP.
 
Nationally, the surveyed Medicaid directors projected that enrollment growth will slow even further to just 1.5 percent in 2018.
 
However, the slowing growth in Medicaid enrollment won’t translate into slower growth in Medicaid spending. The surveyed Medicaid directors predicted that total Medicaid spending will rise 5.2 percent next year following a 3.9 percent increase this year and a 3.5 percent increase in 2016.
 
“Medicaid officials identified the high costs for prescription drugs, especially for specialty drugs, as well as policy decisions to increase payment rates to specific provider groups as factors putting upward pressures on total Medicaid spending,” the report said.
 
Medicaid directors from 37 states said the stepped up efforts to contain prescription drug costs this year, and another 36 said they will again in 2018.
 
In 2016, total Medicaid expenditures in Minnesota were about $11.2 billion with $6.4 billion, or 57 percent, coming from the federal government and $4.8 billion, 43 percent, coming from the state, according to the report. Nationally last year, total Medicaid expenditures were about $553.5 billion with the federal government picking up 63 percent of that tab.