Medicaid : anticipating costs for an uncertain future : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)

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Givan, Jordan E.
Frye, W. Bart
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Thesis (B.?.)
Honors College
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Created in 1965 to provide health care for the poor, Medicaid today is the largest medical coverage provider of any social or private insurance program in the United States. As both enrollment increases and cost growth outpaces income growth yearly, Medicaid is an increasingly costly program that is one of the top budgeting obligations for both the federal and state governments. This program's role in society is expected to only grow further as one of the primary vehicles for providing health coverage to the uninsured under recent health reform. With the importance of Medicaid's future in mind, many forecasts of its costs for the next ten or twenty years have been made, and the study of these forecasts renders the data, assumptions, and methods employed to produce them. Understanding these choices is essential for being able to create my own forecast model and expect reasonable results. Applying data for two states, Massachusetts and California, to this model enables a broader comprehension of Medicaid's outlook as the program progresses uniquely in each state. Predicting costs in the future with a high degree of accuracy is inherently difficult to do. Despite this, the results from this type of work give a perspective on what could be expected if trends today continue in the future.