Issue Briefs | Nov 30, 2022

Collection of Race, Ethnicity, Language (REL) Data on Medicaid Applications: New and Updated Information on Medicaid Data Collection Practices in the States, Territories, and District of Columbia


All state Medicaid agencies and most U.S. territories collect self-reported data on race, ethnicity, and language (REL) from applicants during the eligibility and enrollment process. However, the type and granularity of information collected varies considerably, and many states continue to face longstanding and persistent challenges in collecting complete, accurate, and consistent data on REL.

This issue brief documents how REL data are collected by the Medicaid programs in the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. This serves as an update to SHADAC’s previous brief, providing up-to-date information on Medicaid REL data collection among the states and extending the analysis to include the District of Columbia and the five territories.