Medicaid is vital for millions of American families far and wide in the United States. It gives low-income individuals and households access to essential healthcare services, including doctor visits, hospital care, prescription drugs, and more.
This program was established in 1965 as part of the Social Security Act and is jointly funded by the federal and state governments, and the costs and payments could vary from state to state. Every year, users expect the ranking of the most expensive states to have Medicaid coverage, and this year’s has been revealed.
In Which State Is It More Expensive to Have Medicaid Coverage?
Despite the nationwide increase in Medicaid spending during the pandemic, New York continues to maintain the highest per capita Medicaid costs among all 50 states. According to the latest financial report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, New York’s state-specific safety-net health plan expended a overwhelming $83.4 billion in the federal fiscal year concluding in September 2022.
Breaking it down per resident, this amounted to $4,240 per person, surpassing the expenditures of every other state and standing at a remarkable 70 percent above the national average. The only entity that outspent New York in this regard was the District of Columbia, with per capita Medicaid costs reaching $5,784.
Medicaid Costs in New York: Why Are They the Highest?
In the case of New York, the non-federal portion of funding is a combination of contributions from the state itself, New York City, and the 57 counties. Remarkably, this non-federal contribution per resident in New York reached an impressive figure of nearly $1,500, surpassing all other jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia.
Several factors contribute to the high level of Medicaid spending in the state. Firstly, New York is characterized by generally elevated healthcare costs, a key driver of its Medicaid expenses. In 2022, the state’s costs per enrollee, as opposed to per resident, ranked as the fifth-highest among all states, amounting to $11,644.
Additionally, the extensive enrollment in New York’s Medicaid program is another significant factor. In 2022, this program extended coverage to more than one-third of the state’s population, comprehending 7.2 million individuals. It’s worth noting that an increasing number of these beneficiaries have incomes above the federal poverty line.
The Three States Where Medicaid Is the Cheapest
On the other extreme opposite to New York, the states of Georgia, Utah and Wyoming are where Medicaid is cheaper compared to the rest of the US. In Georgia, the average per capita expenses stood at $1,377 in 2022, while in Utah that value was just $1,331. Finally, Wyoming is the cheapest in the country, with an average spend of $1,294.
Other states where Medicaid is more expensive, after New York, song New Mexico ($4,105), Alaska ($3,566), Rhode Island ($3,371), and Louisiana ($3,364). The U.S. average is $2,490, just slightly lower than Indiana ($2,561), and slightly higher than Maryland ($2,479).