Demographics for enrollees in "private option" for Medicaid expansion | Arkansas Blog

Friday, January 17, 2014

Demographics for enrollees in "private option" for Medicaid expansion

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 2:33 PM

click to enlarge po_map.jpg

As we reported earlier this week, the "private option" is leaning younger, with more than half of the enrollees thus far under the age of 40 (that's very good news — a younger pool will both keep down costs for the "private option" policy and could help keep premiums down for everyone shopping on the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace). A few more pieces of demographic information on enrollees: 

* The Department of Human Services provided the Times information today about the gender breakdown: it's about 2-1 female. 

* Yesterday, DHS officials testified that 90 percent of enrollees are below the poverty line. The "private option" covers Arkansans who make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (a little less than $16,000 for an individual or about $32,500 for a family of four) — so far 90 percent of enrollees are below 100 percent of FPL, as oppowed to 100-138.  The uninsured population eligible for the "private option" breaks down closer to 70-30 below the poverty line, so it will be interesting to see whether this evolves. One possible factor is that many of the enrollees were signed up via the direct mail campaign to SNAP (food stamp) beneficiaries, who are more likely to be under the poverty line.  

All of this information is for enrollees through January 2, including 64,872 who have been enrolled in private plans and an additional 6,706 who were found to be medically frail and thus enrolled in the traditional Medicaid program (tens of thousands more have been deemed eligible and have been enrolled this month or will be in the coming weeks). Above, see a map of the breakdown by county (through January 10). As expected, Pulaski County has the most, but signups are happening across the state. It's worth taking a peak at the number of people impacted in districts with lawmakers hoping to defund the policy. 

After the jump, the raw numbers from DHS.

Of the 64,872 people enrolled in private plans as of Jan. 2 (the most recent demographic information available):
• 16,923 were between the ages of 18-29,
• 19,669 were between the ages of 30-39,
• 13,904 were between the ages of 40-49
• 11,432 were between the ages of 50-59, and
• 2,944 were age 60 or older.

An additional 6,151 people who applied for the Private Option were determined to be better served by the traditional Medicaid program as of Jan.2, and 46 percent of those were under age 40. For this group:
• 1,228 were between the ages of 18-29,
• 1,592 were between the ages of 30-39,
• 1,531 were between the ages of 40-49,
• 1,459 were between the ages of 50-59, and
• 341 were age 60 or older.


As of Jan. 2:

Private plans 
Female- 43,001
Male – 21,871

Better served by traditional Medicaid
Female – 4,213
Male – 1,938

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