News

New Medicaid enrollment tops 7M under Obamacare

New Medicaid enrollment tops 7M under Obamacare

HEALTH CARE: Supporters of the Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as "Obamacare", gather outside the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center in Jackson, Mississippi. The enrollees include uninsured Americans who gained coverage through traditional Medicaid, as well as a special Medicaid expansion in 26 of the 50 U.S. states under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Bachman

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than seven million Americans have gained health coverage through government programs including Medicaid since enrollment in Obamacare health insurance was launched Oct. 1, the U.S. administration said on Friday.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said 7.2 million new participants in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program by June brought overall Medicaid enrollment to 66 million people.

The enrollees include uninsured Americans who gained coverage through traditional Medicaid, as well as a special Medicaid expansion in 26 of the 50 U.S. states under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Traditional Medicaid programs often cover only a patchwork of poor individuals, including pregnant women and disabled elderly.

The Obamacare expansion extends coverage to all Americans earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line, or $15,521 for an individual and $31,720 for a family of four.

Two dozen states, many led by Republicans opposed to Obamacare, have not expanded Medicaid coverage. HHS said 5.7 million low-income people remain uninsured in those states.

States that expanded Medicaid have seen enrollment surge 18.5 percent, while those that have not expanded the program registered only a 4 percent increase, according to HHS.

The Medicaid expansion is a centerpiece of the healthcare reform law, which also created new online marketplaces to provide federally subsidized private health insurance plans that have enrolled an additional 8 million people.

Open enrollment for private insurance ended in the spring. Medicaid enrollment remains open year round.

The administration has been unable to say how many new enrollees obtained private or public coverage for the first time under Obamacare.

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated that 10.3 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage through the marketplaces and Medicaid, resulting in a 5.2 percentage point drop in the U.S. uninsured rate since last September.

The study was produced by researchers from HHS, the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Recent Headlines

1 hour ago in Election 2016, National

Christie expected to end 2016 White House bid

Fresh
Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie embraces his son Patrick during a primary night rally in Nashua, N.H., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. At left is Christie's older son Andrew and wife Mary Pat at right. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Christie had banked his presidential prospects on a strong finish in New Hampshire, but finished behind most Republican rivals.

2 hours ago in National

Yellen: Fed not likely to reverse course on rates despite risks

Fresh
U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen testifies at the House Financial Services Committee in Washington February 10, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Chances are slim the Federal Reserve would need to reverse the rate tightening cycle it began in December.

2 hours ago in Local

Paul Mark Considering Berkshire Senate Seat

paul mark

Mark had initially ruled out a run, but now admits he is "thinking about" since 4th Berkshire District Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli has taken himself out of the running.

2 hours ago in Lifestyle, National

Twitter to change homepage to customize tweet displays to individuals

Updated
A 3D printed Twitter logo is seen in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration picture made in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

By Yasmeen Abutaleb (Reuters) – Twitter Inc made a dramatic product change on Wednesday, saying it will recast the way…

2 hours ago in Local

Mass Pike to Drop Toll Booth for Automatic System

highway

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has announced that toll booths will be removed on the Mass Turnpike, and replaced with an “Open Road Tolling” system which will automatically charge drivers for using the road.