Numbers reflect businesses’ growing reliance on Medicaid, state says

By Anjalee Khemlani
Trenton | Mar 11, 2019 at 7:00 am

Medicaid expansion in New Jersey was lauded as the right thing to do to care for the state’s most vulnerable when Gov. Chris Christie signed it into law in 2013.

But bad actors, in the form of large corporations, have been relying on the state for benefits rather than offering health benefits packages to some of the lowest-paid workers, according to Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration.

In his budget proposal, Murphy wants to fine these companies to make Medicaid whole, but with hopes of incentivizing them off the state system.

The state has said nearly a quarter of its enrollees in Medicaid come from mid- to large size private-sector companies.

When Medicaid expansion was first approved, many small businesses, with 50 or fewer employees, also leaned on Medicaid. Experts have said this is mostly in manufacturing or blue-collar sectors.

But the spike in enrollees is evident in numbers provided to ROI-NJ by state officials.

In Fiscal Year 2014, when Medicaid expansion was signed, there were 127,000 private-sector employees of mid- or large size companies utilizing Medicaid. In 2017, that number ballooned to almost 195,000.

Here are the figures provided by the state for each fiscal year:

  • FY2014: 127,172;
  • FY2015: 151,204;
  • FY2016: 193,116;
  • FY2017: 194,664;
  • FY2018: Not available.

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Anjalee Khemlani | akhemlani@roi-nj.com | AnjKhem