The rate at which Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program made improper payments rose considerably in federal fiscal year 2019.

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Medicaid improper payment rate in FY 2019 was 14.9 percent, amounting to $57.36 billion in improper payments.  The improper payment rate that year for CHIP services was 15.83 percent, representing $2.74 billion in improper payments.  Both are significant increases over FY 2018, when the Medicaid improper payment rate was 9.7 percent, representing $36.25 billion, and the CHIP rate was 8.57 percent, for $1.39 billion.

CMS maintains that the improper Medicaid payment rate will decline in future years because it has introduced more rigorous enforcement of Affordable Care Act requirements to determine and periodically redetermine eligibility for Medicaid participants.  Because each state is reviewed for improper payments only every three years, the agency maintains, it will take time before the full impact of the more rigorous review of beneficiary eligibility will be seen in annual statistics

Learn more about improper Medicaid and CHIP payments in the CMS fact sheet “2019 Estimated Improper Payment Rates for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Programs.”