Adults in the Income Range for the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion Are Healthier Than Pre-ACA Enrollees

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The ACA has dramatically increased the number of low-income nonelderly adults eligible for Medicaid. Starting in 2014, states can elect to cover individuals and families with modified adjusted gross incomes below a threshold of 133 percent of federal poverty guidelines, with a 5 percent income disregard. This study uses simulation methods and data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to compare nondisabled adults enrolled in Medicaid prior to the ACA with two other groups: adults who were eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled in it, and adults who were in the income range for the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and thus newly eligible for coverage. Although differences in health across the groups were not large, both the newly eligible and those eligible before the ACA but not enrolled were healthier on several measures than pre-ACA enrollees.

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Date: Apr 2014
Author: Health Affairs