As others who follow trends in Missouri Medicaid enrollment know, Missouri is a state that has shown sluggish growth in Medicaid enrollment over the last year, even while other states have seen significant growth -- including states that have also not expanded Medicaid (experiencing the so-called "Woodwork" effect).  In fact, for several months, the growth in Medicaid in Missouri was flat or negative, and Missouri had one of the slowest rates of growth in Medicaid in the country.

It appears from recent reports that this growth has turned around, albeit slowly.  According to the recent report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Missouri is now showing a 3.5% growth rate in Medicaid enrollment since before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment began in 2013 (the first year of the program).  Although low, this now rates as the 8th lowest rate in Medicaid in the country (behind AK, NE, OK, SD, UT, VA and WY), and Maine is not reporting figures.

Nationwide states that have not expanded Medicaid have experienced an 8.0% growth in enrollment since fall 2013, compared to 27% growth in states that have expanded Medicaid.

In a previous blog post, this author pointed to recent positive trends in the Department of Social Services in MO that may be helping contribute to the turnaround in MO's Medicaid enrollment growth -- that is, work doen to resolve the "backlog" problem in the state.  Although it is too early to tell whether this is the main factor contributing to the recent growth in Medicaid, it is reasonable to conclude this is contributing to the growth.

[The source for the data in this blog post are from CMS, "Medicaid & CHIP: February 2015 Monthly Applications,