Day 48– Medicaid at 50: State Highlight: North Dakota

Over the coming weeks this blog will highlight a key feature of Medicaid and the individual states that administer Medicaid leading up the the program’s 50th anniversary (July 30th). Hopefully, you’ll learn some interesting facts about Medicaid and each of the 51 state programs.

North Dakota covers nearly 90,000 residents in it’s Medicaid and CHIP programs and has seen a 27% increase in enrollment since expanding coverage.

North Dakota’s legislature and governor expanded Medicaid two years ago. Yes, red North Dakota is an expansion state. Many people forget that they are among the states extending coverage to all people under 138% of the federal poverty level because the partisan battle was not as loud on the national scale as in several other Republican dominated states such as Arizona or Ohio.

Governor Jack Dalrymple who lead the charge summed up North Dakota politics very well in 2013 after releasing the bill to extend coverage:

“We try to leave the politics out in the hallway when we make these decisions. In the end, it comes down to are you going to allow your people to have additional Medicaid money that comes at no cost to us, or aren’t you?” he said. “We’re thinking, yes, we should.”

They even have gone so far to explain why they have expanded Medicaid on their state website, to people unfamiliar with the dynamics in the state.

Screenshot 2015-06-13 15.01.00

Once more, the state has taken advantage of additional flexibilities to delay renewals and make the application process easier for residents in the state.

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