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10 reasons to support Medicaid expansion - #8

#8 - Medicaid is an effective and affordable means of delivering health care to Nebraskans with limited incomes.

  • Medicaid eligibility guidelines are complex.  But, in general, adults who are eligible have very low incomes and have a disability or are pregnant.1   In otherwords, people who are eligible for Medicaid have high health care risk.


  • For persons over 65, beneficiaries eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare typically have multiple chronic conditions that require a higher level of care and result in increased spending relative to other Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.2


  • The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission found that persons who were eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid had health care costs that were twice as high as those who were eligible only for Medicare.3


  • Nondisabled adults who are currently eligible for Medicaid are more than twice as likely to have two or more chronic conditions as adults are uninsured.4


Despite serving a population that is likely to have higher health care costs, Medicaid spending has grown at a modest rate over the past few years.


  • In 2009, Medicaid spending for nondisabled adults under the age of 65 was $5,032 per person.5  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Nebraska’s per capita spending on acute health care costs was $5,603.6


  • Medicaid spending on health care services has grown at an average annual rate of 2.2% over the past five years.7   That is 36% less than the rate of inflation in health care generally2 and 35% less than the growth in General Fund revenue for the same period.8


  • In FY-2007, Medicaid spending accounted for 17.1% of General Fund spending.  By FY-2012, the share of General Fund spending accounted for by Medicaid had fallen to 16.5%.9  

This fact sheet is brought to you by AARP Nebraska.  For more information, contact

Mark Intermill at 402-323-5424 or


1 A summary of Medicaid eligibility may be found at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website.


2 George Washington University's Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program; Dual-eligible Medicare/Medicaid Beneficiaries; August 10, 2011 ;

3 Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; Dual Eligible Beneficiaries: An Overview; June 2004

4 John Holohan, Genevieve Kearney and Jennifer Pelletier; Urban Institute; The Health Status of New Medicaid Enrollees Under Health Reform; August 2010.

5 Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services; Nebraska Medicaid Annual Report, December 1, 2012.

6 Acute care expenses included in the comparison were hospital, physician, other practitioners and prescription drugs.

7 Medicaid expenditure information for FY-2007 through FY-2012 was gathered from DAS Accounting Division’s Budgetary Reports.

8 Medical inflation information was drawn from the information about Medical service inflation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis of CPI-U.

9 The information about Medicaid expenditures and total revenue for FY-2007 and FY-2012 is from the DAS 2007 Budgetary Report.





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