Elderly and disabled beneficiaries make up a majority of Medicaid spending
June 01, 2012
SOURCE: Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, MACStats, June 2012. Compiled by PGPF.
One common myth about Medicaid is that it primarily benefits poor children and their mothers. But the facts show otherwise. Although children make up about half of Medicaid's enrollment, they account for only 19 percent of total costs. By contrast, elderly and disabled beneficiaries account for 67 percent of the program's costs. The main reason for these differences is that the average spending per child is $3,500 (about one-half of the program's average), while per-beneficiary spending on the elderly and disabled is about $16,000 and $18,000, respectively (more than twice the program average).
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