The health care industry in Kentucky continued to add jobs in 2015, according to newly revised data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy analyzed the data and found 10,500 more people work in the health care industry in January 2016 than in the same month two years prior. Jobs in health care were up nearly 5 percent over 2014, while the overall economy in Kentucky saw 3.1 percent job growth in that period.
Jason Bailey, executive director of KCEP, said employment in health care and social assistance sectors picked up after the implementation of the Medicaid expansion, which former Gov. Steve Beshear did under the Affordable Care Act.
“So many more people have health care coverage and are going to the doctor, and that’s very likely having a strong influence on the job growth that we’re seeing,” he said.
More than 500,000 Kentuckians have gotten health coverage via expanded Medicaid and the state’s insurance exchange, Kynect, since the program began. The rate of uninsured in Kentucky has dropped from 20.4 percent before Kynect to 7.5 percent today, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.