U.S. Medicaid Enrollment Soars During COVID-19 Pandemic

A new report released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) earlier this week unveiled a record high number of Americans enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) within the past year. Over 80 million Americans now have health insurance coverage through Medicaid and CHIP, and nearly 10 million residents enrolled in coverage between February 2020 and January 2021, representing a nearly 14 percent increase over the 12-month period.

Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, a total of 80.5 million people were enrolled and receiving full benefits from Medicaid and CHIP programs by the end of January 2021. In the 50 states that reported total Medicaid child and CHIP enrollment data for January 2021, over 38.3 million children were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP combined, approximately 50 percent of the total Medicaid and CHIP enrollment. According to the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS), these latest figures underscore the essential role of Medicaid and CHIP in providing quality and necessary coverage for millions of vulnerable children and adults. Both programs serve as the largest single source of health coverage in the country.

The increase in total Medicaid and CHIP enrollment is largely attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular, the enactment of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). FFCRA provides states with a temporary 6.2 percent payment increase in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding.

Additional information, including the full report, is available here.