States that took advantage of ACA to expand Medicaid hit with billions in unanticipated costs

April 06, 2016

Legislators in several states have spent the past three months considering whether they should expand Medicaid under the ACA, or renew their previous commitment to do so, but new projections by the CBO and Joint Committee on Taxation indicate the federal government's cost of Medicaid expansion over the next decade will be significantly higher than originally expected. In March 2015, CBO and JCT projected the net cost of the ACA insurance coverage provisions, including Medicaid expansion and health insurance subsidies, to be $1.26 trillion from 2017 to 2026. Their latest projections for the same period are $136 billion higher. The difference from the March 2015 projection, the report states, stems from an increase in projected spending for Medicaid because more people whom the ACA made eligible for Medicaid are expected to enroll than were anticipated.