Issue Brief
August 2014

Low-Wage Workers and Medicaid Expansion

Many of the hardworking people engaged in jobs we rely on every day—from childcare aide to bus driver to waitress—lack access to affordable health insurance. We recently examined data showing that many of these low-wage uninsured workers could gain health coverage if their states accepted federal dollars to expand Medicaid.

To date, 27 states and D.C. have chosen this option and expanded health coverage to adults with incomes up to 138 percent of poverty. (In 2014, that amounts to an annual income of $27,310 for a family of three).

In our analysis of data from the 23 states that have not made the choice, we found that more than half of residents who could benefit from Medicaid expansion are working adults—and that they work in occupations that make up the foundation of the state’s economy. So far we have produced reports for these states:

Briefs (PDF): AlabamaFlorida | IndianaMissouri | North Carolina | Pennsylvania | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Virginia

Infographics: AlabamaFlorida | IndianaMissouri | North Carolina | Pennsylvania | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Virginia

The infographic below shows how bridging the coverage gap would benefit working adults.