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Medicaid and CHIP Added Nearly 10M Enrollees During COVID-19 PHE

Analysis  |  By Jack O'Brien  
   June 21, 2021

Total enrollment for both Medicaid and CHIP programs topped 80.5 million people by the end of January.

Almost 10 million Americans enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), according to data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Monday afternoon.

CMS found that enrollments increased by nearly 14% from February 2020, which the PHE was declared, through January 2021.

The total enrollment for both Medicaid and CHIP programs topped 80.5 million people by the end of January, including more than 38.3 million children. 

The first monthly Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment Trends Snapshot released by CMS in October found that Medicaid and CHIP added more than 4 million new enrollments between February and June 2020. In the Snapshot, CMS stated that overall enrollment "sharply increased with the COVID-19 PHE," as well as with the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

CMS attributed the increased enrollment to the COVID-19 PHE, specifically referencing the enactment of the FFCRA, which provided states with a temporary 6.2% increase in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage funding.

"The Biden-Harris administration is using every lever to ensure any American needing access to quality health coverage receives it. Now more than ever, people need the peace of mind of knowing that they have health coverage,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. "This report reminds us what a critical program and rock Medicaid continues to be in giving tens of millions of children and adults access to care. This pandemic taught us that now more than ever, we must work to strengthen Medicaid and make it available whenever and wherever it’s needed using the unprecedented investments Congress provided."

The data was released one week after another CMS report found that more than 1 million consumers have coverage through that costs $10 or less per month.

Related: American Rescue Plan Impact: More than 1M Consumers Pay Less than $10 Per Month

"Medicaid and CHIP serve as a much-needed lifeline for millions of people throughout this country. The increase we are seeing is exactly how Medicaid works: the program steps in to support people and their families when times are tough," CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-Lasure said in a statement.

Related: Where Does Healthcare Go After California v. Texas?

Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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