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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Law Will Shift Demographics For Medicaid Toward Healthier Group, Study Finds

Today's post was shared by Kaiser Health News and comes from

The health law is expected to change the face of Medicaid – literally.

As part of the federal overhaul, some states have opted to expand in January this state-federal health insurance program for low income people to include Americans who earn as much as 138 percent of the federal poverty line (just under $16,000 for an individual in 2013). As a result, the new enrollees will include more white, male and healthy individuals than those eligible before the Affordable Care Act expansion, according to a study in the Annals of Family Medicine.
Using statistics from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the authors found that the group of newly eligible individuals is:
  • About 36 years old on average, compared with about 39 years old for the current enrollees.
  • Approximately 59 percent non-Hispanic white, compared with about 50 percent in the existing group.
  • Equally split between males and females, compared with about 67 percent female and 33 percent male in the current Medicaid population.
  • More likely to smoke and drink, but also more likely to have lower rates of obesity and diabetes.
The University of Michigan researchers hope the information will help inform health providers and policy makers who are gearing up to plan for the more than 13 million adults potentially eligible for Medicaid after Jan. 1.
“It’s really a game changer,” said Dr. Tammy Chang, a lead author of the report. “A lot of providers think of Medicaid...
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