States initiatives to expand health insurance coverage through either traditional Medicaid or private insurance have equally good outcomes for low-income adults, according to a study released Tuesday.
The Harvard’s School of Public Health study compared survey results from 5,600 low-income adults in Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas.
The study was released as Kentucky’s new governor mulls reforming the Medicaid expansion. Kentucky expanded its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act while Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear was in office. Arkansas, however, used federal dollars to pay for private health insurance for low-income adults.
Texas has not expanded health care at all.
Kentucky and Arkansas saw improvements in health care coverage rates and the ability of low-income adults to obtain prescription medication, chronic disease management, among other things, Sommers said.
According to the study, “the uninsured rate in Kentucky and Arkansas dropped 14 percentage points more than it did in Texas between 2013, prior to full implementation of the ACA’s health insurance provisions, and 2014, after the expansion’s first full year.”