Elderly and disabled beneficiaries make up a majority of Medicaid spending
June 01, 2013

SOURCE: Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, June 2013 MACStats. Data is from FY 2010. Compiled by PGPF.

One common myth about Medicaid is that it primarily benefits poor children and their mothers. But the facts show otherwise. Although children make up about half of Medicaid's enrollment, they account for only 19 percent of total costs. By contrast, elderly and disabled beneficiaries account for 66 percent of the program's costs. The main reason for these differences is that the average spending per child is $2,500 (less than one-half of the program's average), while per-beneficiary spending on the elderly and disabled is about $19,000 (almost three times the program average).

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