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Sue Ducat
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From Health Affairs:

In Kentucky, Sharp Low-Income Uninsurance Declines Under ACA

In 2013 Kentucky was one of two southern states to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Recently, newly elected Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R) announced that he would discontinue the expansion. A new study, which was completed before Governor Bevin's announcement, evaluated the impact of Medicaid expansion in Kentucky through 2014 and found that uninsurance among nonelderly residents in that state with incomes of up to $25,000 declined from 35 percent at the end of 2013 to 11 percent in late 2014. The study, being released today by Health Affairs, is among the first to provide evidence on the benefits experienced because of a state's Medicaid expansion.

Kentucky's Medicaid Expansion Showing Early Promise On Coverage And Access To Care

By Joseph A. Benitez, Liza Creel, and J'Aime Jennings

The authors are affiliated with the University of Louisville, in Kentucky.

This study will also appear in the March issue of Health Affairs.

To obtain their study sample, the authors used 2006-14 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Residents of Missouri, Tennessee, and Virginia, three neighboring states not expanding Medicaid eligibilitity, served as study controls. Other study findings revealed declines in the number of people with unmet medical needs and lacking a regular source of health care (see exhibit below). "We found that low-income Kentuckians largely benefit from the state's decision to expand Medicaid relative to its neighbors in three measurable areas of access to health care," the authors concluded. "Our findings may shed light on benefits that other states may realize under the ACA-related expansions in public insurance coverage eligibility, as a result of state decisions to expand Medicaid."

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