Mississippi’s Medicaid enrollment has grown since January, even as top elected officials continue to oppose expanding the program.

Medicaid director David Dzielak (JELL-ick) told legislative budget writers Friday that the biggest reason for the enrollment increase is a new type of income calculation.

He said that under the federal health overhaul law, the Affordable Care Act, administrators are now required to ignore a portion of people’s income when they apply for Medicaid or the state Children’s Health Insurance Program. That allows more people to qualify for coverage.

Mississippi’s Medicaid and CHIP enrollment, combined, went from 714,338 in January to 775,176 in September, Dzielak said. That’s an 8.5 percent increase.

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