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Medicaid Enrollment Statistics 2021

Medicaid Enrollment Statistics 2021

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During the 2020 policy year, over 75 million Americans enrolled in their states' Medicaid and CHIP programs. This number is up by 5.9% from the previous year, when a total of 71 million enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP. Medicaid is designed to be a low-cost insurance plan for low-income individuals who cannot afford individual health insurance or who do not receive health insurance through an employer.

Medicaid enrollment changes

Enrollment for Medicaid occurs every year during the open enrollment period, or after someone experiences a qualifying life event. This is when you can visit the healthcare.gov website to apply and find out whether you are eligible for the health insurance program. If you are already enrolled in Medicaid, you still need to reapply during the open enrollment period.

Medicaid provides coverage for people with low incomes, disabilities or drug addictions. The federally funded program provided opioid addiction help to four in 10 nonelderly adults. This allowed individuals to get increased access to treatment centers and intervention courses.

Idaho saw the largest jump in Medicaid enrollment with a year-over-year increase of over 33%. The main reason for this increase is that Idaho expanded Medicaid enrollment beginning January 1, 2020. This allowed many individuals who had previously been in the coverage gap to get comprehensive medical insurance.

State
Medicaid 2019
Medicaid 2020
Total Medicaid enrollment change
National64,806,22168,826,5736.20%
Alabama748,913791,3775.67%
Alaska207,174218,4875.46%
Arizona1,614,5571,754,6188.67%
Arkansas756,373803,1926.19%
California10,336,18410,615,7822.71%
Colorado1,208,8991,284,2316.23%
Connecticut837,367865,4953.36%
Delaware220,253230,6594.72%
District of Columbia238,996232,860-2.57%
Florida3,420,2483,716,7478.67%
Georgia1,602,9311,729,9317.92%
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Total enrollment numbers verified for the month of July in each year, the most recently available data as of December 2020.

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is an insurance program that provides low-cost health care to children in families whose household income is too high to qualify for Medicaid but not high enough to purchase private health insurance. Furthermore, CHIP is available for pregnant women who have a household income up to 185% of the federal poverty level.

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment increased by nearly 3% for the 2020 policy year. The largest change in enrollment can be seen in Tennessee, which saw a year-over-year gain of close to 43% in total CHIP enrollment.

State
CHIP 2019
CHIP 2020
Total CHIP enrollment change
National6,500,4796,694,6902.99%
Alabama173,365173,9300.33%
Alaska15,94314,091-11.62%
Arizona101,098107,7906.62%
Arkansas32,02536,46113.85%
California1,289,5071,283,588-0.46%
Colorado82,15977,597-5.55%
Connecticut20,04819,870-0.89%
Delaware11,31811,155-1.44%
District of Columbia17,14317,2260.48%
Florida237,146213,987-9.77%
Georgia205,833221,7947.75%
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Total enrollment numbers verified for the month of July in each year, the most recently available data as of December 2020.

Medicaid expansion

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), state Medicaid programs are allowed to expand their program's eligibility requirements to cover more low-income individuals. The provision of the ACA expands the income threshold to anyone with an income of less than 138% of the federal poverty level. As of 2019, 37 states — including Washington, D.C. — have passed legislation that expands Medicaid. In the table below are the states that have and have not passed Medicaid expansion. For the beginning of 2021, Oklahoma and Missouri will expand Medicaid coverage.

State
Expanded?
AlabamaNo
AlaskaYes
ArizonaYes
ArkansasYes
CaliforniaYes
ColoradoYes
ConnecticutYes
District of ColumbiaYes
DelawareYes
FloridaNo
GeorgiaNo
HawaiiYes
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Sources:

  • Data.Medicaid.gov
  • Kaiser Family Foundation

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