New AHRQ Study Finds Adults Newly Eligible for Medicaid Under Affordable Care Act Healthier Than Previous Enrollees
A new AHRQ study published in Health Affairs indicates that adults newly eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are, overall, at least as healthy as patients already enrolled in Medicaid. The authors said Medicaid-eligible adults not enrolled in Medicaid are generally healthier than the pre-Affordable Care Act Medicaid population, a finding that could help the 25 states that have not yet expanded their Medicaid programs understand what services new enrollees are likely to need. The authors used AHRQ’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data and simulation modeling to compare the health status of three groups of non-disabled adults who are now Medicaid eligible: those newly eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, adults enrolled in Medicaid prior to the Affordable Care Act and adults who were eligible for Medicaid prior to the Affordable Care Act but not enrolled. The study found that both the newly eligibles and the adults previously eligible but not enrolled were generally healthier than those already enrolled in Medicaid. The study and abstract, “Adults in the Income Range for the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion Are Healthier Than Pre-ACA Medicaid Enrollees,” was published online March 26.