New Analysis Shows Effect of Rising Unemployment on Health Coverage, Medicaid and SCHIP Spending and Enrollment

As the country faces another economic downturn, many states are scrambling to deal with the impact of poor economic conditions on programs, like Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), that are reliant on state funding. To be better able to cope, states are looking for fiscal relief from the federal government as well as obtaining a moratorium on federal regulations that would reduce Medicaid funding for states from the Congress.

New analyses project the implications of a downturn for health coverage and state programs. One report projects the impact of one percentage point rise in the national unemployment rate on Medicaid and SCHIP and the number of uninsured individuals. Another brief examines results from KCMU’s annual 50-state budget surveys of Medicaid directors from 2003 to 2007 to describe how states adopted a wide array of Medicaid cost containment strategies during the last economic downturn and were assisted by the federal government to avoid deeper Medicaid cuts.

Medicaid, SCHIP and Economic Downturn: Policy Challenges and Policy Responses

View Chart, Impact of Unemployment Growth on Medicaid and SCHIP and the Number of Uninsured

Medicaid in a Declining Economy: Limited Approaches for States to Control Spending

Interview with Barbara Edwards, Interim Director of National Association of State Medicaid Directors

You can read about the Medicaid regulations being debated in Congress in the piece, Medicaid: Overview and Impact of New Regulations

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