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If I asked you which program was larger, Medicare or Medicaid, what would you say?

Sure, Medicare gets plenty of attention on national news. But Medicaid is the nation’s largest health payer.

CMS has estimated 2021 Medicare enrollment at 63.8 million, while estimated Medicaid enrollment was 83.5 million. That number does not include an additional seven million children who are enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, which works closely with Medicaid and offers low-cost coverage to children in families that don’t qualify for Medicaid. That means more than one in five Americans gets their health coverage through Medicaid.

While it’s true that APTA reports heavily on Medicare issues, that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening in Medicaid, or that APTA isn’t working in that space. There are reasons for Medicare so often being in the spotlight while, on the other hand, so much goes on behind the scenes in Medicaid that members may not always know about.

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.

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