Day 31- Medicaid at 50: Millions and Millions of People

As of the most recent April 2015 Medicaid enrollment report there are currently over 71.1 million people in state Medicaid and CHIP programs. That’s more than the 55 million people in Medicare.

Now I know what you’re thinking– “Emma, Medicaid and CHIP are really 51 programs… isn’t that what you’re also highlighting these 50 days?” Yes yes, well on that measure, Blue Cross Blue Shield does cover 106 million Americans, according to their website, but they are technically 36 different companies. That figure apparently doesn’t include their Medicare or Medicaid contracts.

Can you think of another health insurer that covers more people? The United Kingdom’s National Health Service covers the 64.1 million people in the UK. Can’t think of another?

I can! Indonesia started their new health insurance reforms on January 1, 2014. You were probably too busy paying attention to the United States or something if you hadn’t heard. They already have over 130 million people enrolled (although, I am not sure if there were demands to see enrollment reports or reports of who have paid premiums).

So in conclusion, using back of the envelope math here, Medicaid may be the second largest public health insurance system in world and the second largest health insurer in the US. Well you know what all of the kids say, second the best. Third the nerd, Medicare.

Update: I was recently reminded about China’s Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme which has about 840 million people…. Ok, third largest public insurance program… It’s the age of the nerd I guess.


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