In 2014, Kentucky accepted federal funds to provide health insurance to more low-income residents through Medicaid. Medicaid expansion gives low- and middle-income Kentucky residents the chance to enroll in affordable health insurance.
States that expand Medicaid are making high-quality health coverage available to many hard-working people who would not otherwise have insurance. These individuals don’t qualify for regular Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance. We looked at data from 11 states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and found that the majority of residents who can benefit from expanded Medicaid are employed.
Two recent reports illustrate how residents of Kentucky are benefiting from Medicaid expansion. Not only has the state experienced one of the largest drops in its uninsured rate in the country, it's also seen a substantial increase in Medicaid enrollees’ use of preventive health care.
Last week’s Gallup poll indicates that states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act saw larger decreases in their uninsured rates than states that did not. This coverage means access to care, which includes preventive services that help keep people healthy and health care costs low.
In recent months, there’s been an increased interest in improving access to health care for people who are recently released from incarceration or otherwise involved in the criminal justice system. While incarcerated, people generally cannot get access to health care through Medicaid or the marketplace. But when they are released, many are eligible. Assisters in a number of states are working to help what is known as “the justice-involved” population enroll in health coverage, both through the marketplace and in Medicaid.
On April 29, Families USA released a report that profiles two residents in neighboring states: Iowa, which chose to accept federal funds to extend health coverage to more adults through Medicaid, and Missouri, which has rejected federal funds to do the same. Our report shows how a state’s choice to extend health coverage can make a real difference in people’s lives. It also shows that if a state chooses not to extend coverage, that choice is not only a great injustice—it threatens access to care for Americans who need affordable, quality health care.
After expanding Medicaid, eight states (Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia) are expected to achieve budgetary savings and revenue gains exceeding $1.8 billion by the end of 2015, according to a report published yesterday. And that’s even though these states are fairly early into their Medicaid expansion.
States that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are seeing major budget savings, according to reports released in the past month. These budget savings coupled with new data linking Medicaid expansion to job growth in the health care sector add to the reasons why the program makes good sense for states.
The second open enrollment period in the health insurance marketplaces is officially closed. But HealthCare.gov and several state marketplaces are still accepting applications for coverage. These include California, Kentucky, New York, and Washington State—the four states participating in our final open enrollment teleconference call yesterday. The directors from these state-based marketplaces explained that the extensions are only for consumers who recently started an application to get health coverage but were not able to finish.
New data reveal that because of Medicaid expansion, Kentucky residents are getting more life-saving screenings and other essential preventive health services, which leads to early diagnoses and higher success rates of treatment. Kentucky has grappled with some of the lowest health rankings in the country (for instance, in 2013, it ranked 50 in cancer deaths and 45 overall). But when the state accepted federal dollars to expand Medicaid to more of its residents, Kentucky began to work toward better health outcomes. In the months since Medicaid expansion, Kentucky has seen significant progress.
Open enrollment for the health insurance marketplace begins this November. As a result, health insurers are filing their proposed health insurance premium rates for 2015. To examine how rates may change for consumers buying policies in 2015, we reviewed filings and news reports from 12 states where proposed rates have received media attention. For each state, we looked at overall proposed premium rate changes, which are an average for each insurer. A consumer’s actual premium increase or decrease may be higher or lower than the average depending on age, location, and plan choice.