Friday, July 15, 2011

Study: Medicaid Increases Use of Health Care, Decreases Financial Strain, and Improves Health for Recipients

A recent study by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and Providence Health & Services has found that expanding low income adults’ access to Medicaid substantially increases health care use, reduces financial strain on covered individuals, and improves their self-reported health and well-being. This is the first study to evaluate the impact of insuring the uninsured in the U.S. using a randomized controlled trial, the gold standard in medical and scientific studies.

The study was released as working paper 17190 on the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) on July 7, 2011.

“This study shows that Medicaid substantially expands access to and use of care for low-income adults relative to being uninsured,” said Katherine Baicker, professor of health economics at HSPH and co-principal investigator of the study.

Medicaid, which is jointly funded by the federal and state governments, covers the health care costs of eligible low-income individuals and families. The 2010 Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid to cover additional low income adults in all states in 2014.

Source: article Health Reform Working: Medicaid Access Fixes Financial Strain, Improves Health

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