Percentage of U.S. Americans covered by Medicaid 1990-2019

The percentage of Americans covered by the Medicaid public health insurance plan dropped to around 17 percent in 2019, but the share remains high when compared to previous years. In 2000, Medicaid covered just ten percent of the population in the United States.

The expansion of Medicaid

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided the option for states to expand Medicaid eligibility to people whose income was below a particular threshold. The ACA’s major coverage expansion came into force in 2014, and the number of individuals estimated to be enrolled in Medicaid has since surpassed 70 million. More than 28 million children were enrolled in the program in 2018, representing 38 percent of overall Medicaid enrollment.

State Medicaid coverage

Initially, the ACA mandated that all state Medicaid programs would have to be extended to provide medical coverage to nearly all low-income groups. However, the Supreme Court rejected that part of the act in 2012, leaving the door open for states to make their own decision on whether they expand their plans. As of April 2020, 36 states plus the District of Columbia have adopted the Medicaid expansion.

Percentage of people covered by Medicaid in the United States from 1990 to 2019

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Release date

September 2020


United States

Survey time period

1990 to 2019

Supplementary notes

This statistic was assembled from several editions of the same report. Due to changes in survey methodology, estimates from 2013 through 2017 are not directly comparable to previous years.

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Statistics on "Medicaid/CHIP"

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