Study finds any expanded Medicaid model helps low-income residents

January 04, 2016

States initiatives to expand health insurance coverage through either traditional Medicaid or private insurance have equally good outcomes for low-income adults, according to a study that compared survey results from low-income adults in Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas. Kentucky expanded its Medicaid program under the ACA. Arkansas used federal dollars to pay for private health insurance for low-income adults. Texas has not expanded healthcare at all. According to the study, "the uninsured rate in Kentucky and Arkansas dropped 14 percentage points more than it did in Texas between 2013, prior to full implementation of the ACA's health insurance provisions, and 2014, after the expansion's first full year." The study found low-income adults in Kentucky and Arkansas were also better able to pay for their healthcare bills compared to those in Texas. "In Kentucky and Arkansas the share of people who said they were struggling to pay medical bills fell by nearly 9 percentage points more than in Texas over 2013–2014," the study reported.
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