The past year has been one filled with heated discussions about the expenses associated with programs such as Medicaid. If you are unfamiliar with Medicaid, it is the massive government program through which millions of disabled or impoverished Americans receive their healthcare insurance coverage, if they are able to make it through the infamous restrictions placed upon who can qualify for its benefits. Regardless of how you feel about Medicaid, the results of an annual survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation have disclosed some good news about the program.
According to the survey, the total amount of Medicaid spending increased an average of 2-percent across all 50 states in 2012. That is a 7.7-percent decrease from 2011’s spending increase of 9.7-percent. In fact, the analysts at Kaiser stated that this was “among the lowest rates of spending growth ever recorded,” and those same analysts expect that the growth in Medicaid spending will be even smaller in 2013. Perhaps it will match the 1.3-percent growth in spending that occurred in 2006?
Analysts have not said with any certainty what prompted the decrease, but it is estimated to be the result of an improving economy combined with increased efforts by states to reduce costs. One of the most productive cost reduction measures has been the lowering of rates paid to doctors and other healthcare providers. As for the enrollment rate, the number of new enrollees increased by just 3.2-percent, down from last year’s rate of 4.4-percent.