As states decide whether to expand their Medicaid programs to cover low-income childless adults, the impact of their choices became clearer today in a study showing a reduction of mortality in states that have already made that move.
The research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found a 6.1 percent reduction in mortality among low-income adults between the ages of 20 and 64 in Maine, New York and Arizona — three states that expanded coverage since 2000, compared with similar adults in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Mexico, neighboring states that did not do so.
The decline in mortality, by an overall 19.6 deaths per 100,000 adults, was especially pronounced among older individuals, minorities and residents of the poorest counties. The researchers analyzed data spanning five-year periods before and after the three states extended their Medicaid coverage to poor, childless adults.The study also found “improved coverage, access to care and self-reported health” among the newly covered adults. Sphere: Related Content