Research Documents Positive Impact of Medicaid Expansion  

The future of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion is unclear, but new research is making it quite clear that Medicaid expansion is a smart investment.  In the last few weeks, researchers addressed several questions that many wondered about before most states implemented the expansion. Let’s take a trip down memory lane…

Will expanding Medicaid in a state lead to significantly more insured people?

Yes. This recent study found that newly eligibly adults were almost 9 percentage points more likely to be insured in expansion states than in non-expansion states in 2014. The authors find no significant evidence that the expansion crowded out private coverage. A different study found that the majority of adults who were newly insured in 2014 had been uninsured for more than 3 years and that this was particularly true for families who had incomes at 138% FPL and below.

Will individuals in non-expansion states move to expansion states?

According to a study in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, movement from non-expansion states to expansion states was not different than movement from expansion to non-expansion states during 2014.

Will the expansion contribute to improvements in employment outcomes for people with disabilities?

The authors of this study present evidence that the Medicaid expansion may improve employment for people with disabilities. Before the ACA, many people with disabilities had to live below the poverty line to be eligible for Medicaid. However, after the ACA, individuals with disabilities were significantly more likely to be employed in expansion states than in non-expansion states.