Delaware Medicaid History and Facts

Initial Medicaid Implementation: Delaware initially implemented its Medicaid program in October of 1966. The state was one of many that lowered eligibility shortly after the program began (originally, eligibility was approximately 150% of the welfare benefit level and that was later reduced to be more in line with existing welfare benefit levels in the state.

Key Medicaid Political Issues: In 1996 the state overhauled its Medicaid program to move the administration to managed care called the Diamond State Health Plan. Under the same reforms, the state expanded coverage for Medicaid to 100% the federal poverty level. The state also made significant investments in cancer screening and treatment with eligibility levels at 600% of poverty for these services. The state has seen reductions in cancer mortality and infant mortality following the changes implemented in 1996, although it’s unclear whether these reductions were due to the policy changes.

Medicaid Expansion Implementation: Delaware expanded Medicaid with the expansion taking effect January 1, 2014. The state has formed a Medicaid buy in study group to look into the possibility of allowing people at higher incomes to purchase Medicaid coverage. The state also is in the process of implementing a waiver to expand coverage to former foster children beyond the required levels under the Affordable Care Act.

train rails photography
Photo by Irina Kostenich on


General facts about Delaware Medicaid:

Medicaid program name: Medicaid

CHIP Program name: HealthyKids

Separate or combined CHIP: Combination

Medicaid Enrollment: 239,600 (2016 estimate)

Total Medicaid Spending: $1.9 (FY16 Estimate)

Share of total population covered by Medicaid: 19%

Share of Children covered by Medicaid: 33% (estimate)

Share of Medicaid that is Children and Adults: 83%

Share of Spending on Elderly and people with disabilities: 46%

Share of Nursing Facility Residents covered by Medicaid: 60% (estimate)

FMAP: 54.2%

Expansion state: Yes

Number of people in expansion: 67,900 (2016)

Work Requirement: No


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