The Guinn Center Policy Brief Examines Selected Characteristics of Nevada’s Medicaid Beneficiaries

The policy brief highlights the gains in enrollment since the expansion of Nevada Medicaid in January 2014. It finds that, as of state fiscal year (FY) 2018, Nevada’s Medicaid recipients more than doubled from pre-expansion levels to 654,943 (i.e., an increase of 118.6 percent). Most notably, low-income childless adults, the group historically most excluded from Medicaid, benefited from expansion. The most recent data indicates 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.

Additional findings include the following:

  • Roughly 17.0 percent of Nevada’s population is enrolled in Medicaid, which is below the U.S. average of 19.6 percent.
    Mineral County has the greatest share of Medicaid beneficiaries at 25.3 percent, and while some rural/frontier counties have relatively high proportions of recipients, the number of enrollees is concentrated most heavily in urban Carson City and Clark County.
  • Pre-expansion Medicaid groups (“Moms and Kids” and the Aged, Blind, and Disabled) make up nearly two-thirds of the Medicaid population, while expansion groups (childless adults and newly eligible parent-caretakers) comprise about one-third of the population.
  • The number of male and female recipients has increased over time but at somewhat similar rates, though women are overrepresented in the Medicaid population relative to their percentages of Nevada’s total population.
  • Race and ethnicity as shares of the Medicaid population remained fairly constant from FY 2013 to FY 2018. However, each group experienced increases in total enrollment.
  • The number of white beneficiaries increased the most, from 107,224 in FY 2013 to 238,324 in FY 2018. This amounted to a percent increase of 122.3 percent.
  • The greatest percent increase—157.0 percent—was in the Other category, though it had the smallest actual growth at 42,261 (i.e., from 26,910 in FY 2013 to 69,171 in FY 2018).
  • Latino enrollment was 107,208 in FY 2013 and 216,606 in FY 2018, which is an increase of 109,398 enrollees (102.0 percent).
  • African Americans had the second-highest percent increase of Medicaid recipients, at 147.2 percent, but was next-to-last in growth of total enrollees.

The policy brief is available on the Guinn Center website.

The Guinn Center is a nonprofit, bipartisan policy institute that delivers independent, fact-based, and well-reasoned analysis of critical policy issues facing Nevada and the region.