81,046,488: Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Hits Record High

By Terence P. Jeffrey | July 30, 2021 | 3:17pm EDT
(Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
(Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - A record 81,046,488 people were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as of February, according to data released this month by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

“The February 2021 Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Trends Snapshot also shows record high enrollment with more than 81 million people covered through Medicaid and CHIP,” said a July 14 press release from CMS.

In March 2020, according to the CMS enrollment snapshot for February, which was released this month, there were a combined 70,976,240 people enrolled in Medicaid (64,281,892) and CHIP (6,694,348). By February 2021, the latest month for which data is available, the combined Medicaid (74,223,721) and CHIP (6,822,767) enrollment had increased to 81,046,488.

“From March 2020 to February 2021, national Medicaid and CHIP enrollment increased by 10,070,248 individuals,” said the CMS enrollment snapshot.

“National Medicaid enrollment increased by 9,941,829 individuals (15.5%),” said the CMS snapshot. “National CHIP enrollment increased by 128,419. (1.9%).”

(This table was published in the "February 2021 Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Trends Snapshot," which was published in July 2021 by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
(This table was published in the "February 2021 Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Trends Snapshot," which was published in July 2021 by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

The total population of the United States at the end of February, as estimated by the Census Bureau, was 332,158,574. Thus, the 81,046,488 enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February equaled approximately 24.4 percent of the total population.

“Medicaid was enacted in 1965 as part of the same law that created the Medicare program,” says the Congressional Research Service.

It “is a joint federal-state program that finances the delivery of primary and acute medical services, as well as long-term services and supports (LTSS) to a diverse low-income population, including children, pregnant women, adults, individuals with disabilities, and people aged 65 and older,” says CRS.

“The federal government and states jointly finance the Medicaid program,” says CRS. “Federal Medicaid spending is an entitlement, with total expenditures dependent on state policy decisions and use of services by enrollees.”

“The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a means-tested program that provides health coverage to targeted low-income children and pregnant women in families that have annual income above Medicaid eligibility levels but have no health insurance,” says CRS. “CHIP is jointly financed by the federal government and the states, and the states are responsible for administering CHIP.”

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