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Surge in Medicaid enrollment will squeeze Michigan budget

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LANSING, Michigan — Enrollment in Michigan's expanded Medicaid program is a quarter higher today than what officials thought it would be five years from now, which will squeeze the budget starting in 2017.

Gov. Rick Snyder's administration initially estimated 477,000 enrollees by 2020. But 600,000 have signed up more than 15 months after the Medicaid expansion launched.

Officials expect enrollment to hover there in the future.

The U.S. government is covering the cost of expanded Medicaid the first three years. Michigan must start contributing in 2017 and cover 10 percent by 2020 and each year after.

The Snyder administration estimates roughly $120 million in additional budget costs over four years due to the higher-than-expected enrollment, but says insuring more people will minimize uncompensated care costs and save money across the health system.

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