As of January 2014, 26 states had chosen to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to cover individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. In these states, Medicaid agencies are facing one of the largest implementation challenges in the program’s history. We undertook a survey of high-ranking Medicaid officials in these states to assess their priorities, expectations, and programmatic decisions related to the coming expansion.
The Medicaid expansion poses major challenges in the domains of enrollment, management of health care costs, and providing adequate access to services for beneficiaries. Previous research has documented that millions of individuals eligible for Medicaid are currently not enrolled and remain uninsured, suggesting that state outreach strategies may underpin the success or failure of the ACA’s coverage expansion.