Analysis sheds light on Medicaid enrollments

A new analysis of Medicaid enrollments says that only 2.4 to 3.5 million people have newly registered for the program since October under the healthcare law.

Figures released by consulting firm Avalere Health are significantly lower than the Obama administration's total estimate for people who have been determined eligible for Medicaid since October: 8.9 million. 

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Federal health officials have frequently cited the rush of interest in Medicaid as a bright spot in ObamaCare's rollout. The law allows states to expand the program to more low-income patients using mostly federal dollars.

Avalere researchers found that Medicaid enrollments have increased in states regardless of their choice on the expansion.

"Medicaid applications have increased 27 percent on average from October to January compared to application rates before [the law]," said Avalere senior manager Jenna Stento in a statement.

"Application rates in expansion states increased 41 percent over the same period."

The report also noted a spike in enrollments in January, attributed to more effective processing of applications.

—This post was updated at 5:20 p.m.