Medicaid caseload running higher than expected; still on budget |

Medicaid caseload running higher than expected; still on budget

Health and Human Services Director Mike Willden said Thursday the Medicaid caseload has increased by 10,483 since the Oct. 1 launch of the Affordable Care Act.

He said that puts the total caseload at 341,106 as of the end of December — just about 5,000 higher than projected and budgeted for.

Willden said the increase is caused by the individual mandate in the ACA requiring all Americans to have health insurance coverage and the expansion of eligibility for Medicaid that has many who may have qualified before but never applied to sign up for Medicaid.

But Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp said it’s too early to tell if that trend will continue and become a budget problem.

“It will probably be over budget a bit,” he said.

But Mohlenkamp said the state is a little ahead of revenue projections as well. He said that includes the Local School Support Tax. When that revenue source is above budget, the state gets to reduce its contributions to the school districts by the amount of the surplus.

“We’re $85 million to the good at the end of 2013,” he said.

Willden said there are ow more than 38,000 applications for Medicaid coverage being processed at HHS.

That is just half the 74,001 people the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange has referred to Medicaid as potentially eligible.