How many people are applying or reapplying for Medicaid?

Medicaid and CHIP Monthly Application Volume

The charts below show trends in each state’s monthly application volume during the unwinding. This analysis is based on monthly application data reported to CMS by state Medicaid and CHIP agencies. Application volume captures the number of applications submitted and is not a count of individuals seeking coverage. It includes individuals or families applying for the first time as well as those who lost eligibility and are reapplying following a change in circumstance. Importantly, the data captures individuals who were procedurally disenrolled within the previous 90 days (or longer period at state option) and submit needed information for their eligibility to be reviewed without completing a new application.

Two comparison lines are included. The pre-continuous coverage baseline reflects the state’s average monthly application volume in the 12 months before enactment of the continuous coverage provision (March 2019 – February 2020). Generally, states had a higher average monthly rate of applications prior to implementation of the continuous eligibility provision, often associated with enrollment churn. The second baseline reflects the state’s average monthly application volume in the 12 months preceding the first month the state began processing terminations during the unwinding. An increase in monthly application volume, particularly above pre-continuous coverage levels, is a likely indicator of families or individuals submitting renewal information during the reconsideration period or reapplying after being disenrolled.

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State Share of Medicaid/CHIP MAGI Applications Exceeding the 45-Day Standard

Federal regulations establish a 45-day standard for acting on Medicaid applications for low-income children, families, and adults (also known as MAGI groups). Applications for MAGI groups are considered untimely and out of compliance with federal rules if processed after the 45-day standard. These maps show month-by-month data reflecting the share of untimely applications processed by states during the unwinding of the COVID-related Medicaid continuous enrollment requirement. Application data includes new applicants as well as individuals who submit verifications needed for renewal after being procedurally disenrolled. A growing share of untimely applications may indicate that state Medicaid agencies are encountering challenges in managing the workload.

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