Medicaid Expansion Leads to a Healthier Community
In January 2014, 26 states within the U.S. decided to expand Medicaid eligibility guidelines. This now gives adults between 19-64 years of age with an annual income equaling up to 138% of the federal poverty line (FPL) the option to apply for Medicaid services. From 2014 to 2020, 13 more states adopted the Medicaid expansion, leaving 12 states opting against the new guidelines.
Since 2014, the first 26 states showed a decrease in uninsured Americans from 42% in 2014 to 21% in 2018. The recent 13 state expansion showed the numbers of uninsured Americans had decreased from 52% in 2020 to 42% in mid-2021. Because of the decrease in uninsured citizens, the number of Americans who improved their health within the last 5 years grew exponentially. Improvements were also seen with a decreased rate for diabetes, as well as many other chronic health concerns.
Medicaid May Decrease Blood Pressure Levels
Research has found that the expansion of Medicaid may be associated with the increased number of Americans’ who improved their blood pressure levels within the last 5 years, along with various other conditions. Many lower-income citizens have very few resources to improve their health and lack the financial stability to afford healthcare. Therefore, the expansion of Medicaid eligibility may also lead to improved chronic health conditions for marginalized populations and communities of low income. This should be an important consideration for the 12 states that have yet to adopt Medicaid expansion.
Expanding Medicaid May Help Many Americans
With 12 states electing not to expand their Medicaid guidelines, this leaves millions of uninsured Americans lacking access to low-cost health insurance, allowing many to continue living unable to receive necessary basic healthcare services. Medicaid expansion can help save the lives of millions and may result in an increase in financial security for those who remain uninsured. These states may also see a substantial amount of savings and in state revenue if they elect to expand Medicaid eligibility opportunities to their citizens.
This Medicaid expansion displays a link to the overall quality of care and servicing capacity presented at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). These centers serve 30 million low-income citizens across the United States, providing many primary healthcare services to those in underserved areas. As a result, the expansion of Medicaid could improve the financial revenues of FQHCs, which in turn may expand their capacity limits and improve the overall quality of care given, not just to the newly insured, but to all patients residing within the FQHCs.
Although the Medicaid expansion started in most states almost 7 years ago, it has taken a significant amount of time for newly insured citizens to form a better connection to care and healthcare management. Unlike anything seen before, many individuals now have access to resources such as prescription medications, annual check-ups, and healthcare consultations to improve their health. It also takes some time for FQHCs to make investments in new patient revenue to improve their quality of care for all residents.
By expanding Medicaid opportunities in all states across the U.S., improvements within our healthcare system may lead to a major decline in sickness and disease for all Americans.
We hope that this information on Medicaid expansion is useful to you.
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Born and raised in Houston, TX, Brittany made the move to Dallas, TX to expand her marketing career. As a 2019 business marketing graduate from Stephen F. Austin State University with a background in social media, Brittany joined Empower Brokerage in the summer of 2021 serving as a marketing assistant.