Washington Surpasses Enrollment Target for Medicaid Expansion

Lindeblad_MaryAnne_HeadshotState officials had hoped that at least 120,000 newly eligible adults would enroll in Medicaid through Washington Healthplanfinder by Jan. 1, 2014.

But the state actually exceeded that target, according to MaryAnne Lindeblad, Medicaid director at the State Health Care Authority.

Lindeblad presented an update on the state’s Medicaid expansion at a Jan. 16 hearing of the House Appropriations Committee. Washington Health Benefit Exchange CEO Richard Onizuka also appeared before the committee.

Lindeblad told legislators that by Jan. 9 about 135,000 newly eligible adults had enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program, called Apple Health. “This is really quite a feat,” she said.

All of the new  Medicaid enrollees signed up for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder, the state’s online portal for coverage under Medicaid and qualified health plans.

The state’s goal is to increase enrollment of newly eligible Medicaid patients to 184,000 by Jan. 1, 2015, and 223,500 by Jan. 1, 2016.

Onizuka said a total of 270,868 individuals had enrolled in coverage through Healthplanfinder by Jan. 9, including 73,098 who enrolled in qualified health plans as well as the newly eligible adults who enrolled in Medicaid and other Medicaid patients who were previously eligible but were not previously enrolled.

A number of states have seen similar surges in Medicaid enrollment due to expansion of eligibility under the Affordable Care Act.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that sign-ups for Medicaid in West Virginia have reduced the number of uninsured people in that state by about a third.