Medicaid Expansion Under Obamacare Drew More Than Expected, Raised Cost

The cost of the government insurance program for those with low incomes grew to a higher level than expected in Colorado, according to a new analysis of the Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act by the non-partisan, non-profit Colorado Health Institute.

Colorado increased the number of people eligible for Medicaid, resulting in more than 300,000 people signing up. That cost almost $1.6 billion during the first two years - nearly a third more than projected.

"The reason that expenditures were so much higher than expected was because enrollment was so much higher than expected," said Emily Johnson is a policy analyst with the organization. "There are just more people covered than anybody had thought."

Until now, the federal government has picked up the cost of covering newly eligible enrollees. Next year, Colorado will pick up 5 percent of those costs, equaling a little over $100 million, CHI says.