As Medicaid redeterminations start up after a long COVID pause, little-known contractor Maximus stands to majorly benefit.

by Matthew Cunningham-Cook, The Lever

As more than 17 million people stand to lose health insurance in the unfolding Medicaid eligibility review disaster, there’s one company licking its lips: Maximus, a little-known federal contractor that is one of the biggest players in privatizing essential government services previously done by civil servants — in particular, taking over states’ capacity to determine who is eligible for Medicaid and who isn’t.

In a February earnings call for shareholders and Wall Street analysts, Maximus’ CEO Bruce Caswell announced that the current nationwide eligibility review of 90 million people on Medicaid and other government health insurance programs “is unprecedented in its scope,” and will allow Maximus “to gain traction in the market.” As a result of the deluge in so-called Medicaid “redeterminations,” Caswell said, “we expect improvement to operating margin.”

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) in conversation with Sara Carter during CPAC Texas 2022 conference at Hilton Anatole

The company has accordingly boosted its earnings estimate by $100 million. Maximus’s share price is closing on its all-time high, up nearly 50 percent since October. Caswell earned $6.3 million in 2022.

Outsourcing Medicaid eligibility reviews to Maximus has major implications beyond the company’s expanding bottom line. It also removes essential government services from the realm of public accountability, while draining resources from governments.

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