Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Profile of Medicaid participants

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Feb• 09•06

As of 2002, approximately 41 million people were on Medicaid. That is approximately 14% of the population of the United States. Who are the people on Medicaid?

We can generally divide the people who receive Medicaid into four categories: 1) poor adults, 2) elderly who can not afford Medicare co-payments or deductibles 3) children and 4) the blind and disabled.

Low-income parents and children make up 73% of Medicaid recipients, but account for only 27.5% of Medicaid expenditures. On the other hand, the aged, disabled, and mentally retarded are only 27% of Medicaid recipients but account for 72.5% of all expenditures. Here is the breakdown by group for the year 2002.

Enrollees Expenditures
Elderly 9.7% 27.5%
Disabled 16.9% 45.0%
Adults 24.1% 11.0%
Children 49.3% 16.5%

Children have made up an increasing percentage of Medicaid cases since the 1997 Balanced Budget Act which enacted the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Medicaid participation rates vary by states. Some states set Medicaid eligibility upper limit at 100% of the federal poverty level, while others have established upper bounds of up to 200% of the federal poverty limit.

Much of the background for my analysis was found in Health Care Economics by Paul J. Feldstein, 6th edition; Thompson Delmar Learning, 2005.

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