Medicaid Expansions from 1997 to 2009 Increased Coverage and Improved Access and Mental Health Outcomes for Low-Income Parents

This paper assesses the effects of past Medicaid eligibility expansions to parents (1997-2009) using data from the National Health Interview Survey, and considers implications for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid expansion. We find that expanding Medicaid eligibility increases insurance coverage, reduces unmet needs due to cost and OOP spending, and improves mental health status among low-income parents. Moreover, our findings suggest that uninsured populations in states that did not opt into the ACA Medicaid expansion would experience even larger improvements in coverage and related outcomes than those in participating states if they chose to expand eligibility.

– Urban Institute

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