Although more children were covered in the short-term thanks to the experiment, many remained uninsured, and enrollment dwindled over time.
An analysis of the 2008 Oregon Medicaid lottery revealed that after three months, for every nine adults enrolled, one additional eligible child was also enrolled in the program — underscoring the magnitude of the “woodwork effect” on insurance enrollment.
Findings were published in the American Economic Journal. The “woodwork effect” is a term used by analysts to describe how individuals eligible for benefits may come “out of the woodwork” to claim certain benefits.
The findings of the current study highlight how adult access to Medicaid can significantly boost enrollment rates for previously uncovered children. However, authors caution many more remain outside the system.
Health insurance coverage has been tied to a myriad of positive health outcomes including improved access to care, quality of life and increased survival rates for cancer patients, among others.
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In 2008, the Oregon Medicaid lottery randomly selected low-income, uninsured individuals to be allowed to apply for the program, while children in these households were eligible despite any lottery outcome. A total of 90,000 applications were received for the 10,000 new slots created by the Oregon lottery.
Throughout the US, as many as 14 percent of eligible adults and 7 percent of eligible children remain unenrolled in Medicaid.
Medicaid provides federally funded health insurance to the nation’s underserved populations while under the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), states had the option of Medicaid coverage eligibility to residents. As of 2022, just 12 states have medicaid/issue-brief/status-of-state-medicaid-expansion-decisions-interactive-map/” data-ylk=”slk:not adopted” class=”link “not adopted Medicaid expansion.
A federal moratorium on booting people off Medicaid has extended health insurance for thousands of children in South Carolina through at least October.
Without fanfare on July 15, US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra extended the Public Health Emergency declaration for another 90 days. The order has been in place since the early days of the pandemic, and had been set to expire on that date.
When Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in March 2020, states were essentially offered a deal: They could receive a 6.2 percent increase in Medicaid funding from the federal government but, in exchange, could not terminate anyone from Medicaid coverage while the Public Health Emergency was in effect.
As many people lost jobs and employer coverage and also lost income, the Medicaid rolls in South Carolina and nationally rose dramatically. Enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program grew from 70.7 million in February 2020 to 87.4 million in February 2022, an increase of 16.7 million, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. States like South Carolina usually do an annual review to determine if someone is still eligible but agreed to pause that.
South Carolina Medicaid went from covering 1,044,980 people in February 2020 to 1,230,315 in March, an increase of 17.7 percent, according to a Post and Courier analysis of CMS data. The number of children on Medicaid and CHIP increased from 650,713 to 729,620, an increase of nearly 80,000 or 12.1 percent, the analysis showed.