Louisiana: A double dose of excellent Medicaid expansion news!
2019 OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS (most states)
Time: D H M S
I haven't posted anything about Louisiana's ACA Medicaid expansion since back in January, just before newly-elected Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards took office. At the time, it looked like the program wouldn't actually kick off until July, and would enroll perhaps 300,000 people.
Today brings a status update: It looks like they're gonna ramp things up a month earlier, and around 75K more Louisianans are eligible than previously thought:
La. Governor Announces Medicaid Expansion Will Begin June 1, Save State $677M Over 5 Years
About 375,000 people in Louisiana are expected to enroll in the program for low-income residents. At the same time, officials in Arkansas continue wrestling with the governor's plan to end the political impasse over expansion.
The accompanying AP article still uses the 300K estimate, but the New Orleans Times-Picayune article claims 375K. Since they're a local paper which presumably knows the specifics of Louisiana better, I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Anyway, this is great to hear...and as I noted back in January:
Gallup's quarterly uninsured surveys don't include children, and the adult U.S. population is around 246 million, which means that every 250K people who gain (or lose) coverage bumps the Gallup number up (or down) by 0.1 percentage point.
Assuming 250K of the 300K eligible are enrolled by July, that would single-handedly drop Gallup's rank of the national uninsured rate from 11.9% to 11.8%.
Of course, that was based on Gallup's Q4 2015 numbers. Their Q1 2016 estimate has the uninsured rate down to 11.0%, so a successful LA expansion launch should knock that down to 10.9% or lower, although once you include children in the mix it's more like a 9.5% --> 9.4% drop.
UPDATE: To clarify, even if every one of those 375,000 (300,000?) of those eligible do enroll in the program, some portion of them would be shifting over from existing coverage (for instance, of the 214,148 Louisianans who enrolled in private QHPs via Healthcare.Gov, 3% were below 100% of the Federal Poverty Line and another 48% were between 100-150% of the FPL. Since ACA expansion covers those up to 138% FPL, the odds are that roughly 39% of the 214K are now eligible for Medicaid instead, which would be roughly 83,000 people, give or take.
If you include a few thousand others who have some sort of current coverage, that means perhaps 90K of the 375K are already covered, meaning the maximum potention net uninsured reduction would be roughly 285,000.