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Expanding Medicaid under Health Reform: A Look at Adults at or below 133% of Poverty

This issue brief from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured examines the key characteristics of the 17.1 million low-income uninsured adults who currently have incomes that would qualify them for Medicaid under the expansion of the program in health reform.

The planned expansion of Medicaid to all individuals with incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level will establish a national foundation of coverage based on income. Adults whose incomes will make them eligible for Medicaid under health reform compromise 37 percent of all the uninsured in the United States. The majority of them do not have dependent children, and about half have family incomes below 50 percent of the federal poverty level. The members of this group have problems accessing health care and about one third of them have been diagnosed with a chronic condition.

This analysis does not take into account immigration status. Some of the adults in the analysis will not gain Medicaid eligibility either because they are undocumented immigrants or because they have not legally been in the U.S. for five years. Additionally, some of these adults may already be eligible for Medicaid.

Issue Brief (.pdf)

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Expanding Medicaid: Coverage for Low-Income Adults Under Health Reform (.pdf)