Medicaid Expansion States Saw Average 25 Percent Decrease in Uninsured Workers, versus 13 Percent for Non-Expansion States
Washington, D.C. – States that expanded Medicaid on average had a 25 percent reduction in the rate of uninsured workers, versus an average 13 percent drop in non-expansion states, according to a report released today by Families USA.
“This is dramatic proof that states that accepted Medicaid expansion are putting themselves on a path toward building a healthier, more productive work force,” said Dee Mahan, Families USA director of Medicaid Advocacy. “And expansion is good for the state’s economy overall because it frees up tax payer money that would otherwise go to pay for uncompensated care.”
The report – “Medicaid Expansion States Help More Working People Get Health Coverage” – used Census data to compare uninsured workers in all 50 states between 2013 and 2014 – the first year Medicaid expansion was offered.
Among the report’s findings:
• Eight expansion states – Hawaii, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Iowa, North Dakota and West Virginia – had reductions in the rate of uninsured workers of 30 percent or better.
• Eight states that have not expanded since 2014 – Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, Kansas, Texas, South Carolina, and Utah – scored rates of 13 percent or below, or roughly half the national average.
“I hope the leadership in the non-expansion states would look at these numbers and think of the working people behind them,” Mahan said. “These are people we see every day who provide the goods and services we all need and use. They should be able to sleep with the peace of mind, that so many of us take for granted, that an accident or illness won’t wipe out everything they have worked and saved for.”
Beginning in 2014, Medicaid expansion offered states the chance to extend Medicaid eligibility to nearly all low-income individuals with incomes at or below 138 percent of poverty, or $27,724 for a family of three in 2015. In most states that have not extended Medicaid coverage, non-disabled adults without dependent children with incomes below poverty are not eligible for Medicaid and make too little to qualify for tax credits to purchase marketplace coverage. Most of these individuals are left with no option for affordable health insurance.
The federal government pays 100 percent of the expansion costs through 2016. Beginning in 2017, the federal share gradually declines until it reaches 90 percent in 2020, where it stays.
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