Childless adults have benefited most from Nevada Medicaid expansion

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Nevada Medicaid Recipients: FY 2010 – FY 2018. (Source: Nevada Department of Health and Human Services)
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Nevada Medicaid Recipients: FY 2010 – FY 2018. (Guinn Center chart from Nevada Department of Health and Human Services data)

Nevada’s Medicaid Program provides medical assistance to more than half a million low-income adults and children in the state, according to the Guinn Center, a Nevada based nonprofit research center.

This week the center released a policy brief analyzing who has benefited most from Nevada’s Medicaid expansion.

Since it’s expansion in 2014 the number of Nevadans receiving Medicaid has more than doubled, from pre-expansion numbers of 299,548 enrollees in 2013 to 654,943 in 2018 — an increase of over 118 percent.

The largest beneficiaries of the expansion are low-income childless adults, the group historically most excluded from Medicaid.

Data shows that about one in two Medicaid enrollees in Nevada is a non-elderly adult, making this group the largest share of Medicaid recipients in the state, by age.

About 17 percent of Nevada’s population is now enrolled in Medicaid, which is still below the U.S. average of about 20 percent.

Of counties exceeding the state average, Mineral County has the greatest proportion of Medicaid beneficiaries at 25.3 percent, followed by Nye County (23.7 percent), Carson City (21.6 percent), Lyon County (20.3 percent), Churchill County (18.1 percent), Storey County (18.0 percent), and Clark County (17.3 percent). 

The number of male and female recipients has increased at somewhat similar rates, though women are overrepresented in the Medicaid population relative to their percentages of Nevada’s total population.

In terms of raw numbers, white beneficiaries increased the most, rising from 107,224 in 2013 to 238,324 in 2018— an increase of over 122 percent

The greatest percentage increase—157 percent—was in the “Other” category, though it had the smallest actual growth at 42,261.

African Americans had the second-highest percentage increase of Medicaid recipients, at about 147 percent, but was next-to-last in growth of total enrollees which increased by just 81,284 individuals between 2013 and 2018.

Latino enrollment went from 107,208 in 2013 to 216,606 in 2018, an increase of 109,398 enrollees, or 102 percent.

Jeniffer Solis
Reporter | Jeniffer was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before graduating in 2017 with a B.A in Journalism and Media Studies. While at UNLV she was a senior staff writer for the student newspaper, the UNLV Scarlet and Gray Free Press, and a news reporter for KUNV 91.5 FM, covering everything from the Route 91 shooting to UNLV housing. She has also contributed to the UNLV News Center and worked as a production engineer for several KUNV broadcasts before joining the Nevada Current. She’s an Aries.

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