Over the past several years, Medicaid and the financial challenges facing Virginia’s hospitals, as well as their interconnectedness, have been at the forefront of the public policy debate in the Commonwealth. As our elected leaders again look to address these issues during the 2015 General Assembly Session, the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is issuing this report as a primer on one of Virginia’s most important safety net programs.
Medicaid is not welfare. Rather, it provides a safety net as the health insurer of last resort for some of Virginia’s most fragile citizens: children, the aged, the blind and the physically and mentally disabled. In 2013, Medicaid provided health insurance to 1.15 million Virginians. Despite the number of enrollees, Virginia’s Medicaid program is extraordinarily lean: we rank 20th in the number of Medicaid recipients; 44th in the number of Medicaid recipients as a percentage of population; and 49th in terms of total Medicaid expenditures per capita. Virginia spent $7.6 billion on Medicaid in 2013, with half of the funding provided by the federal government.