Medicaid enrollment growing even in states that rejected federal funds

August 11, 2014

This New York Times piece looks at how Medicaid enrollment increased in many states that chose not to accept federal funds. CMS data showed that enrollment jumped in most states that did not expand their programs, including Georgia (16%), Montana (10%), Idaho (9%) and Florida (7%). Altogether, enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program in the states that didn't make any changes has gone up by 975,000. The reason is a phenomenon that health experts like to call the "welcome mat effect" or the "woodwork effect," depending on whether they see it as good news. What happened is that many people who were always eligible for the program have finally decided to sign up.