More Than 1.7M People Await Medicaid Decisions

More than 1.7 million people across the country are waiting for their Medicaid applications to be processed, according to a Kaiser Health News report.

The majority of the backlog in application processing comes from California and Illinois, two states that chose to implement Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In California, there are still 900,000 Medicaid applications pending, and in Illinois there are 283,000 applications waiting to be processed.

However, this is not just a problem affecting states that have expanded Medicaid, as some states that chose not to expand such as North Carolina and Georgia are also seeing backlog. This is because under the PPACA, even some states that haven't expanded their Medicaid programs have seen an increase in enrollment due to the "woodwork effect" — when people who were previously eligible but not enrolled sign up because of increased outreach and awareness. In North Carolina there are 170,000 pending applications. In Georgia, there are 100,000 applications waiting to be processed.

Glitches that prevented state Medicaid agencies from receiving information from the federal insurance marketplace contributed to the delay in the processing of the applications. A shortage of staff to handle the Medicaid enrollment surge has also caused delays in many states, according to the report.

More Articles on Medicaid Expansion:

HHS Reports Continued Medicaid Enrollment Growth: 5 Key Findings
Medicaid Expansion's Impact on Self-Pay, Charity Care Volumes: 9 Statistics
3 Key Findings on the Newly Insured

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