5 million people enrolled in Medicaid during pandemic, study finds

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Medicaid enrollment increased by 5 million people between March and September of 2020, a study published in JAMA Network Open shows.

Enrollment growth was greater in states with smaller changes in unemployment, which researchers said was unexpected and may be indicative of enrollment factors other than job loss. They include greater eligibility due to reduced work hours, a greater focus on healthcare due to COVID-19 and a request by Congress that members not be disenrolled from Medicaid during the public health emergency. 

The study also showed that between January 2019 and September 2020, Medicaid enrollment increased from 48.2 million to 51.8 million members in states where benefits had expanded. Member enrollment increased from 17.2 million to 18.8 million in non-expansion states, respectively.

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