The costs for the enrolment expansions of Medicaid was increased by a massive 20 percent after almost 2 and a half years, as a report from Avalere Health said.
The Report shows the first half of 2014 to average the monthly Medicaid costs to be $324 for the enrollees. But after being enrolled for 2.5 years, these costs per month are reaching $389 with an increase of 20 percent.
“Health care spending for the Medicaid expansion population increased steadily over time for beneficiaries who remained enrolled in the program” the report clearly states. “The enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided states with the option of extending Medicaid eligibility status to childless adults aged 19-64 who earn less than 138 percent of poverty ($16,643 for an individual)—many of whom were previously uninsured.”
Over the period of time, the analysis of the data found that a younger and healthier enrollee has more of a tendency to disenroll while all those who have been in the program for longer are more probable to be suffering from severe chronic health problems and disorders.
“Contrary to some expectations that Medicaid expansion enrollees would be relatively healthy, beneficiaries who have remained on the program have increasing health care needs, likely due to previously unidentified or untreated conditions,” Caroline Pearson said, she is the Senior Vice President for Avalere. “Healthier, lower-cost enrollees may be more likely to churn off Medicaid after a shorter period of time.”
The total costs for the chronic care services, including the prescription drugs, have increased a lot over the past few years especially from the initial few months of the coverage, while spending on the emergency room visits and on the inpatient hospital care saw a massive decline too. Furthermore, it was noticed that over the time, the enrollee’s health care costs also shifted away from the hospitalization to the prescription drugs and the outpatient visits, which are related to chronic diseases and their treatments.
“As new Medicaid beneficiaries gain a consistent and sustained source of insurance coverage, their spending patterns reflect improved care for chronic conditions and less need for acute hospitalizations,” said Michael Lutz, Avalere’s vice president. “This suggests that newly insured populations have underlying health needs but insurance coverage may help rationalize their health care spending in favor of longer-term, less costly treatments overall.”