Number of Low Income Uninsured Higher In States Not Expanding Medicaid Interview
Sandra L. Decker, Ph.D.
Distinguished Consultant
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Health Statistics
Hyattsville, MD 20782 What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Decker: One of the main findings is that the percent of the low income population that is uninsured is higher in states not expanding Medicaid than those expanding.  The low income uninsured in non-expansion states are more likely to report having or having had certain health conditions such as hypertension, cancer, stroke, emphysema, or a heart condition than those in expansion states. Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Decker: Since about half the states have decided to expand their Medicaid programs and half have not, we didn’t have particular expectations about whether the number of uninsured who will be offered Medicaid or their health conditions would be different in non-expansion states versus expansion states.   However, we were curious if the number of uninsured or their health conditions were different in the two groups of states. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Decker: In non-expansion states, low income, uninsured adults with chronic health conditions will be likely to seek subsidized purchase of private health insurance through the Marketplace.  Those under the poverty level are likely to remain uninsured, however. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Decker: Hopefully, researchers will be able to track how low income adults use health services and how their health is impacted in expansion states compared to non-expansion states going forward.


Characteristics of Uninsured Low-Income Adults in States Expanding vs Not Expanding Medicaid

Decker, Sandra L., Genevieve M. Kenney, and Sharon Long. 2014.  “Characteristics of Uninsured Low-Income Adults in States Expanding Vs. Not Expanding Medicaid,”
JAMA Internal Medicine.