What is Medicaid?

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  • Medicaid is a health-insurance program that started in 1965 for people who have disabilities or are pregnant, have young families and earn very low incomes.
  • Medicaid is different from Medicare, which is a federally funded program that provides health insurance to people who are 65 and older or have disabilities.
  • The federal government’s formula for Medicaid spending depends on the state’s economics. In New Mexico, the feds typically pay about 70 percent of New Mexico’s Medicaid expenses while the state pays 30 percent. In fiscal year 2012, the federal government spent about $2.6 billion on Medicaid while New Mexico spent $857.3 million.
  • If New Mexico expands Medicaid enrollment, the federal government will spend between $4.5 billion and $6.2 billion in additional money in New Mexico from 2014 through 2020. The state won’t spend any additional money until 2017. At most, the state’s share of the cost of providing services for the new Medicaid recipients in any one year will be 10 percent starting in 2020.
  • From 2017 to 2020, the state’s Human Services Department anticipates spending between $320 and $496 million more if Medicaid is expanded.

Sources: New Mexico Human Services Department and New Mexico Voices for Children

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