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Faces of the Medicaid Expansion: How Obtaining Medicaid Coverage Impacts Low-Income Adults

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) seeks to fill the longstanding gap in Medicaid coverage for low-income adults by expanding eligibility to a minimum floor of 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL), or $24,344 for a family of 3 in 2012. However, the Supreme Court ruling on the ACA effectively made implementation of the Medicaid expansion a state choice. If a state does not expand Medicaid, poor uninsured adults in that state will not gain access to a new affordable coverage option and will likely remain uninsured. To provide insight into the potential impacts of expanding Medicaid, this report highlights the experiences of adults in California, Connecticut, Minnesota, and the District of Columbia, which all have already expanded Medicaid to adults. Based on focus groups and interviews with previously uninsured adults who recently gained Medicaid coverage in these states, it examines the personal impacts gaining coverage had on individuals’ health, finances, employment, and overall well-being.

Faces of the Medicaid Expansion (.pdf)