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March 22, 2007

Medicaid report released

The non-partisan Pennsylvania Medicaid Policy Center (PMPC) released its “Faces of the Pennsylvania Medicaid Program” report last week. The report is a comprehensive look at the structure and reach of the Medicaid program in Pennsylvania.

With rising health care costs increasing Medicaid’s role in Pennsylvania’s health care landscape, this report makes the intricacies of the Medicaid program more accessible to stakeholders and policy makers by providing relevant data, graphs and charts, and cutting through layers of complex legislative language.

PMPC recently was established at GSPH with support from private nonprofits and foundations as an independent source of information and analysis about Pennsylvania Medical Assistance. The PMPC web site,, serves as a clearinghouse for Pennsylvania Medicaid information, including publications and research, statewide and county data and relevant links.

Medicaid is a federal/state health insurance program that fills some of the gaps in the health care financing system and pays for medical and long-term care for eligible low-income American citizens and legal immigrants.

In 2006, there were 1.8 million Medicaid recipients in Pennsylvania in the average month. The total cost of the program last year was $16.6 billion.

Children represent the largest proportion of those enrolled, with approximately one-third of children in the commonwealth covered. The proportion of children covered in different counties ranged from 12.3 percent to 63 percent in 2006.

Although children and their families represent 61 percent of all Medicaid recipients, they account for just 24 percent of total expenditures. It is the elderly (over 65 years old) who account for the largest share of Medicaid costs — just over a third.

Support for PMPC comes from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, the North Penn Community Health Foundation and the Brandywine Health and Wellness Foundation.

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