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Uninsured children expected to grow Medicaid rolls

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm •  Published: January 29, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The analyst hired by the state to estimate the impact of the federal health care law told Indiana lawmakers Tuesday that an unintended consequence could unearth tens of thousands of children who qualify for Medicaid but are not enrolled.

Rob Damler, an actuary for Milliman Inc. in Indianapolis, told members of the House Ways and Means Committee that residents are expected to grow the state's rolls in the coming years as the individual mandate forces low-income residents into federal coverage.

Milliman estimates roughly 92,000 more residents will seek Medicaid coverage under the "woodwork effect" next year and about 77,000 of them will be children. The boom in Medicaid enrollment is expected to cost the state $612 million over the next seven years, gradually increasing each year as more residents seek federal coverage.

"Where we anticipate a lot of this enrollment to occur is when children are brought to the emergency room or hospital setting, some sort of institutional setting where presumptive eligibility can be provided and these children are identified as potentially Medicaid eligible, however uninsured they can now enroll into the Medicaid eligibility programs," Damler said.

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