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Harvard Study Analyzes Medicaid Coverage Under the Affordable Care ACT (ACA)

Posted on Monday, August 15, 2016 6:32 PM

A new study conducted by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, compared Kentucky and Arkansas and the fact that both states have expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The study found the following results:
• Low-income adults reported higher quality care and improved health compared to low-income adults in Texas
• The low-income adults in both states received more primary and preventative care with fewer emergency departments visits

“Health insurance matters to people’s health,” said lead author Benjamin Sommers, assistant professor of health policy and economics at Harvard Chan School and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Our study shows that with health insurance, whether it’s Medicaid or private coverage, people can better afford their medical care, get more preventive care and chronic disease management, and ultimately achieve better overall health.”

So far, 30 states and the District of Columbia have chosen to expand coverage under the ACA.

The study surveyed about 9,000 low-income adults in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Texas from late 2013 to the end of 2015. The following results were found:
• Between 2013 and 2015, the uninsured rate dropped from 42% to 14% in Arkansas and from 40% to 9% in Kentucky, compared with a much smaller change in Texas (39% to 32%)
• Expansion was associated with significantly increased access to primary care, improved affordability of medications, reduced out-of-pocket spending, reduced likelihood of emergency department visits, and increased outpatient visits
• Screening for diabetes, glucose testing among people with diabetes, and regular care for chronic conditions all increased significantly after expansion
• Quality of care ratings improved significantly, as did the number of adults reporting excellent health

For the full article, click here.

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