Medicaid Makes Up Majority of Federal Grant Funds for Most States

While state policy makers frequently express concern about the increasing percentage of state funds required to fund their Medicaid programs, the programs bring in large amounts of federal dollars to states. Across all states, two thirds of all federal grant funds received by states in 2017 are for Medicaid health services for low-income, disabled and elderly individuals. 

In fact, more than 50 percent of federal grant funds received in all states but Alaska, South Dakota and Wyoming were Medicaid according to a recent Pew Chartible Trusts analysis of 2017 funding. Among the states the percent of funding for Medicaid varies from a high of 75.5 percent of all federal grants to just 21.2 percent in Wyoming, the only state where Medicaid was not the largest percentage of federal grant funding. Wyoming received its largest share of federal funds from leasing rights for minerals extracted on public lands. The other major categories of federal funding in states, including education and transportation, shrink in comparison to Medicaid. 

Read more of the Pew analysis here

In the chart from the Pew analysis below the federal funds are shown as a percent of all federal grant funds a state receives. The total dollar amounts states receive vary widely. States are ordered by the percent of Medicaid federal grant funds compared to 100 percent of all federal grant funds a state receives. 


Medicaid Makes Up Majority of Federal Grants in Most States, Though Mix Varies

Distribution of grant money by program area, 2017

Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts,