February 2016

Medicaid Expansion Helps Working People Get Health Insurance

States that have expanded Medicaid are doing more to help working residents than states that choose not to expand Medicaid. In 2014, the first year of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, the percent of people who were working but had no health insurance dropped by nearly twice as much across states that expanded Medicaid as it did across states that did not expand.

This report (PDF) compares the decline in the percent of uninsured workers in all 50 states between 2013 and 2014.

Share of workers without health insurance declined substantially in states that expanded Medicaid

Compared to 2013, the number of workers who were uninsured in 2014 declined in virtually every state. However, the overall rate of decline in number of uninsured workers was substantially higher in states that expanded Medicaid.

  • States that expanded Medicaid saw, on average, a 25 percent reduction in the number of residents who were working but uninsured.
  • In states that chose not to expand Medicaid, the average reduction was 13 percent.
  • The average percent reduction across expansion states was nearly twice the percent reduction across non-expansion states.

States were considered Medicaid expansion states if they expanded coverage at any time in calendar year 2014. Because of the unique nature of the District of Columbia, which is a city and not demographically comparable to states, it is excluded from the report.