No Matter How It’s Done, Expanding Health Coverage Produces Real Health Benefits

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<p>A new study comparing two different approaches to expanding health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) finds that both yield “substantial benefits for low-income adults” compared to no expansion.</p><p>With Commonwealth Fund support, Harvard’s Benjamin D. Sommers, M.D., and colleagues compared the experiences of low-income adults in Kentucky, which expanded Medicaid eligibility, and Arkansas, which used federal funding to purchase private coverage in the ACA marketplace, with the experiences of low-income adults in Texas, which chose not to expand Medicaid. Their research, published today in <em>JAMA Internal Medicine</em>, shows that broadening eligibility for subsidized insurance, whether through Medicaid or the so-called private option, are associated with greater receipt of outpatient, preventive, and chronic disease care, as well as reduced emergency department use and improved self-reported health. </p>
<p>Earlier research may have underestimated the effects of expanded coverage, say the authors, who note it “can take several years” for coverage expansions to reach full enrollment.</p> Read about the study