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Total Medicaid expenditure 1966-2019

2019 saw the largest expenditures on Medicaid in U.S. history. At that time about 639.4 billion U.S. dollars were expended on the Medicaid public health insurance program that aims to provide affordable health care options to low income residents and people with disabilities. Medicaid was signed into law in 1965. By 1966 just under 1 billion U.S. dollars were spent on the program.

Groups covered by Medicaid

There are several components of the Medicaid health insurance program. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was started in 1997 to provide health coverage to families and children that could not afford care. As of 2017, children represented the largest distribution of Medicaid enrollees. Despite having the largest proportion of enrollees, those that were enrolled in Medicaid as children had the lowest spending per enrollee. As of 2017, disabled Medicaid enrollees had the highest spending per enrollee.

Medicaid expenditures

Currently, Medicaid accounts for 16 percent of all health care expenditure in the United States. Expenditures on Medicaid programs vary among the U.S. states and depend heavily on whether Medicaid expansion was accepted after the Affordable Care Act was enacted. California and New York are the top states with the highest Medicaid expenditures. It is projected that Medicaid expenditure will continue to increase at both the state and federal levels.

Total Medicaid expenditure from 1966 to 2019

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Release date

April 2020


United States

Survey time period

1966 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Expenditure data for the period 1966 to 1976 have been revised to be consistent with the current definition of the Federal Fiscal Year (October-September). Expenditures are for medical assistance payments and administration
* Projected.

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Statistics on "Medicaid/CHIP"

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