Alabama Medicaid enrollment goes over 1 million due to awareness, rule changes, June 17, 2014

Alabama has so far rejected the federal government's proposal to expand Medicaid. Regardless, the Affordable Care Act still had the effect of increasing the size of Alabama's Medicaid rolls.

Medicaid enrollment in Alabama jumped up noticeably in January 2014, from around 970,000 to just over 1 million.

Part of the reason behind the increase was a rule change enacted by the Affordable Care Act. The ACA required the state to transfer about 23,000 children from ALL Kids (Alabama's Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP) over to the Medicaid rolls.

Health care analysts also say that the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act brought a new wave of attention to health insurance, motivating many Americans to check their eligibility for various existing programs. This effect has been called "wood working" by some organizations, including Kaiser.

In March, the latest month for which Alabama has updated totals, nearly 1.2 million Alabamians were signed up for Medicaid benefits. That total represents about 21 percent of the state's population.

Medicaid is a federally-run program that provides subsidized health insurance to low-income individuals.

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