States Spent Less on Medicaid During the Pandemic — but Enhanced Funding Is Winding Down

States received more than $117 billion in enhanced federal funding during the COVID-19 pandemic’s Medicaid disenrollment pause, according to a new KFF analysis. With unemployment on the rise during the pandemic, Medicaid rolls surged, but state spending did not. States spent $231 billion on Medicaid in 2019; that figure dropped to $214 billion in 2020, KFF reported. Since then, state spending has yet to surpass 2019 levels. That’s because the federal government elected to increase the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) by 6.2 percentage points in exchange for states’ suspension of eligibility redeterminations for the duration of the Public Health Emergency (PHE). But instead of ending the enhanced FMAP funds with the expiration of the PHE, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 allowed for enhanced funding to begin a gradual decrease — to 5 percentage points higher than normal levels in April, 2.5 in June, and 1.5 in October.

© 2024 MMIT
Carina Belles

Carina Belles

Carina has been covering public-sector health care since 2018. As a data reporter for Radar on Medicare Advantage, she creates infographics and data stories on issues impacting Medicare, Medicaid and Part D. She also develops AIS Health Daily, a free daily newsletter that showcases AIS’s strong reporting across our four publications and parent company Norstella’s suite of market access and data solutions. Prior to joining the editorial team, she managed Medicare and Medicaid data for the Directory of Health Plans, AIS’s industry-standard health coverage database. She graduated from Ohio University with a B.S. in Journalism.

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