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Low-income uninsured adults less likely to have chronic conditions compared with Medicaid enrollees
Date:6/23/2013

Compared with adults already enrolled in Medicaid, low-income uninsured adults who may be eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act were less likely to have chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia, although those with 1 of these conditions were less likely to be aware they had it or to have the disease controlled, according to a study in the June 26 issue of JAMA. The study is being released early to coincide with its presentation at the AcademyHealth annual research meeting.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states have the option to expand Medicaid coverage to most low-income adults, an option that could add millions of new Medicaid enrollees. "In states choosing to implement the expansion, with full federal financing from 2014 through 2016, this would expand Medicaid's traditional focus away from low-income pregnant women and children, very-low-income parents, and the severely disabled to new population groups. These include childless adults and parents whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid under current state eligibility criteria. This is likely to affect the type of Medicaid patients seen by physicians in states choosing to expand Medicaid. State decisions regarding Medicaid expansion will likely consider the anticipated costs and health benefits to their populations," according to background information in the article. "Uncertainty exists regarding the scope of medical services required for new enrollees."

Sandra L. Decker, Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues conducted a study to document the health care needs and health risks of uninsured adults who could gain Medicaid coverage under the ACA. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2010 were used to analyze health conditions among a nationally representative sample of 1,042 uninsured adults 19 through 64 years of age with income no more
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Contact: Jeff Lancashire
jhl1@cdc.gov
301-458-4800
The JAMA Network Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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