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October 2015

Medicaid Expansion Helps Low-Wage Workers: Expansion States

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. 

To date, 31 states (including D.C.), have chosen the option to expand Medicaid to adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. (That’s about $27,720 for a family of three in 2015.)

In our analysis of data from 11 states that have expanded Medicaid, we found that more than half of residents who stand to benefit from Medicaid expansion are working adults—and that they work in occupations that are the foundation of the state’s economy. Also see our analysis of who could benefit in states that have not expanded.

States that choose to extend Medicaid coverage are making a smart fiscal choice and giving millions of hard-working, low-income Americans access to affordable health care. Read more about how Medicaid expansion helps state economies and boosts job growth.