Medicaid spending grew 4.2% in 2018, survey shows

Total annual average Medicaid spending growth remained relatively steady in fiscal year 2018 and is projected to grow slightly in fiscal year 2019, according to a 50-state Kaiser Family Foundation survey.

The survey of state Medicaid directors found average combined federal and state Medicaid spending growth reached 4.2 percent in 2018, up from 4.1 percent the year prior. Average spending growth is projected to reach 5.3 percent in 2019.

The foundation said state Medicaid directors attributed the relatively steady Medicaid spending growth to flat Medicaid enrollment growth, which resulted from a stronger economy and other factors. But directors reported that Medicaid spending growth is trending up due to factors such as rising prescription drug costs, rising costs for long-term services, and payment rate increases for certain Medicaid providers.

The survey found average state spending growth for Medicaid also increased in 2018, reaching 4.9 percent. This was partially because 2018 was the fiscal year states began to share financial responsibility for the ACA's Medicaid expansion.

Access the full survey results here.  


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