More low-income adults enrolled in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act

February 17, 2016, University of Louisville

A University of Louisville study published today in Health Affairs, found low-income Kentuckians without health insurance declined by 68 percent from 35 percent uninsured at the end of 2013 to 11 percent in late 2014. Completed prior to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's announcement to dismantle the state's health exchange, kynect, the data supports trends of similar studies published nationally showing a drop in the number of uninsured Americans. Study findings also revealed declines in the number of people lacking a regular source of health care and those with unmet medical needs.

At the time of the study, Kentucky was one of two southern states to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The expansion raised Medicaid eligibility up to 138 percent of the poverty level as a means to make coverage more accessible and affordable for those likely to experience financial barriers to medical care.

The study was conducted by University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences Department of Health Management and Systems Sciences faculty Joseph Benitez, Ph.D., Liza Creel, Ph.D., M.P.H., and J'Aime Jennings, Ph.D. - all affiliates of the school's Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky, a transdisciplinary collaborative for population health improvement and health policy analysis.

Using data from the 2006-14 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual survey of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they focused on adults between the ages of 25 and 64 who reported an annual household income below $25,000, allowing them to capture a large segment of the population that could benefit from the expansion. Data from residents of Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia - three neighboring states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility, served as study controls.

"We found that low-income Kentuckians largely benefitted from the state's decision to expand Medicaid relative to its neighbors in three measurable areas of access to ," Benitez said. "Our findings may shed light on advantages other states may realize under the ACA-related expansions in public insurance coverage eligibility and decisions to expand Medicaid."

Explore further: Traditional Medicaid expansion and 'private option' both improve access to health care

Related Stories

Traditional Medicaid expansion and 'private option' both improve access to health care

January 5, 2016
Two different approaches used by states to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income adults—traditional expansion and the 'private option'—appear to be similarly successful in reducing numbers of the uninsured and in expanding ...

Even before ACA, cancer survivors in non-expansion states had less health-care access

December 22, 2015
How will Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) change cancer survivors' access to healthcare? Answering the question first requires defining access to healthcare before the ACA. An analysis published in the ...

Support for Medicaid expansion strong among low-income adults

October 8, 2014
Low-income adults overwhelmingly support Medicaid expansion and think the government-sponsored program offers health care coverage that is comparable to or even better in quality than private health insurance coverage, according ...

State medicaid expansions did not erode perceived access to care or increase emergency services

April 8, 2014
Previous expansions in Medicaid eligibility by states were not associated with an erosion of perceived access to care or an increase in emergency department (ED) use.

Fast and sharp: Medicaid expansion gives hospitals immediate relief from uninsured care

January 5, 2016
Just six months after opening up health insurance to more low-income people, states saw a huge drop in the amount of care their hospitals provided to uninsured patients, and a rise in care for people with coverage, a new ...

Failure to expand ACA Medicaid coverage widens disparities in breast and cervical cancer screenings

May 12, 2015
Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researchers recently conducted a study that found low-income and uninsured women in states that are not expanding their Affordable Care Act Medicaid coverage are less ...

Recommended for you

Removing sweets from checkouts linked to dramatic fall in unhealthy snack purchases

December 18, 2018
Policies aimed at removing sweets and crisps from checkouts could lead to a dramatic reduction to the amount of unhealthy food purchased to eat 'on the go' and a significant reduction in that purchased to take home, suggests ...

Junk food diet raises depression risk, researchers find

December 18, 2018
A diet of fast food, cakes and processed meat increases your risk of depression, according to researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Children of problem drinkers more likely to marry someone with a drinking problem: study

December 18, 2018
Children of parents who have alcohol use disorder are more likely to get married under the age of 25, less likely to get married later in life, and more likely to marry a person who has alcohol use disorder themselves, according ...

Folate deficiency creates hitherto unknown problems in connection with cell division

December 17, 2018
Folate deficiency creates more problems in connection with DNA replication than researchers had hitherto assumed, researchers from the University of Copenhagen show in a new study. Once a person lacks folate, the damage caused ...

A co-worker's rudeness can affect your sleep—and your partner's, study finds

December 14, 2018
Rudeness. Sarcastic comments. Demeaning language. Interrupting or talking over someone in a meeting. Workplace incivilities such as these are becoming increasingly common, and a new study from Portland State University and ...

Study shows magnesium optimizes vitamin D status

December 14, 2018
A randomized trial by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers indicates that magnesium optimizes vitamin D status, raising it in people with deficient levels and lowering it in people with high levels.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.