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Low-Income Residents’ Views on Access, Quality by Insurance Type

people health insurance

States considering expanding Medicaid have the option of purchasing private insurance for low-income adults rather than enrolling them directly in the public program. A Commonwealth Fund–supported study (American Journal of Public Health, May 19, 2016) used a survey of low-income residents of Southern states with Medicaid, private, or no insurance to compare people’s care experiences by insurance source. While the researchers—Kevin Nguyen of Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Benjamin Sommers from Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital—found some tradeoffs in terms of access to specialty care and affordability between Medicaid and private insurance, they conclude that any type of coverage expansion for low-income adults will likely lead to better access to care.

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