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States expanding Medicaid benefits, despite GOP efforts to cut costs — 9 insights

Twenty-six states expanded Medicaid benefits in 2017, with 17 more planning to do so in the coming year, according to Kaiser Health News.

Here's what you should know:

1. Kaiser Family Foundation released a report on Medicaid activity in 2017.

2. States centered their expansion around both mental health and substance abuse treatments, but some also expanded telemedicine and dental care.

3. In 2017, more states expanded benefits than ever before in the last decade.

4. Six states elected to cut Medicaid benefits in fiscal year 2016.

5. KHN reports measures by President Trump's administration to allow states to implement a work requirement could contribute to program uncertainty.

6. Maine, Indiana and Kentucky all applied for an exception through CMS to add a work requirement, but all three states expanded their programs.

7. Overall growth slowed to 2.7 percent in fiscal year 2017, which was down from 3.9 percent year-over-year.

8. Overall state spending increased 3.9 percent in 2017, up from 3.5 percent year-over-year. A majority of that increase is attributable to higher spending on prescription drugs and long-term care services.

9. State Medicaid spending is expected to rise to 6 percent in 2018.

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