Recently I have been receiving many emails and questions about Medicaid and its financial impact on the Commonwealth. I did my research, and can finally give some clear numbers today to help you all understand where Medicaid in Virginia currently stands.
Over the past ten years, the average number of people enrolled in the Virginia Medicaid program each month has increased by 68%. This increase is due to a growing number of citizens who have a disability, as well as an expansion in children’s enrollment. Over the past ten years, Virginia expenditures on Medicaid have gone up 300%! Despite this increase, Virginia still maintains some of the strictest requirements to enroll throughout the nation.
In 2001, 666,855 citizens were enrolled in the Medicaid program. In 2011, that number has increased to 1,060,840, a 59% increase since 2001! While this enrollment increase definitely affects spending, economic changes (like health care cost inflation) and federally-mandated changes in the program have also forced us to increase spending.
What’s the bottom line? When it comes to Medicaid, there is just not enough money to pay for everything everyone wants. With a 300% increase in the last decade, it is obvious that our present course is mathematically unsustainable. However, we are doing our best and will try to limit cuts to Medicaid.