Report: Medicaid expansion states lead in insuring workers

Medicaid expansion sign
Sign at a Medicaid expansion rally. By Janelle Irwin / WMNF News (Oct. 2013).

States that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act – like Florida – have done much worse at insuring people of working age than Medicaid expansion states.

A study released Wednesday by Families USA found that the 31 states that have expanded Medicaid reduced their uninsured population by about twice as much as other states.

During a conference call Wednsday Dee Mahan, the Medicaid program director with Families USA, said in 2014 workers aged 18-64 did much better in Medicaid expansion states.

“We found that with the ACA virtually every state saw a reduction in uninsured workers. However the magnitude of that decrease – measured as the percent change – was substantially greater in states that had expanded Medicaid. On average, states that expanded Medicaid saw a 25% decrease in uninsured workers, nearly twice as great as non-expansion states, which saw a 13% decrease on average. Twenty-three states exceeded the national average of a 19% decrease; all but two of those were Medicaid expansion states. All of the eight states that had a 30% or greater reduction in uninsured workers were Medicaid expansion states.”

The number of uninsured workers in Florida declined by 15% — on par with other states that did not expand Medicaid, but much less than states that did. Often low-income workers earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for subsidies in the ACA insurance marketplace. Our website, wmnf dot org slash news has a link to the study.


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