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What Difference Does Medicaid Make? Assessing Cost Effectiveness, Access, and Financial Protection under Medicaid for Low-Income Adults

This brief examines the cost and use of health care among low-income nonelderly adults who are covered by Medicaid relative to their expected service use and costs if they instead had employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) coverage or were uninsured. The analysis controls for a wide array of factors that also influence utilization and spending in an effort to isolate the specific effects of Medicaid coverage. Consistent with previous research, the analysis underscores how Medicaid facilitates access to care for program beneficiaries.

Poor People Have the Same Needs as Others

Drew Altman, President and CEO of the Foundation, was asked to contribute to the New York Times’ Room for Debate discussion on More Medicaid, More Health? In his piece, Dr. Altman concludes “Insurance — public or private — provides financial protection and access to medical care which low-income people need just as everybody else does. But it cannot by itself change behavior, alleviate poverty, or guarantee that the medical system is doing all it can to improve health.”

How Will Health Reform Impact Young Adults?

Adults ages 19 to 29 have the highest uninsured rate of any age group in the United States. The 13.7 million uninsured people in this age group comprise nearly a third of the overall uninsured population.  Most provisions in health reform do not specifically target young adults, but because of their…

Kaiser Health Security Watch

The Kaiser Health Security Watch uses Kaiser Health Tracking Poll data to measure the public’s health care-related problems and worries, including problems paying medical bills, skipping or delaying health care due to cost, and worrying about their future ability to pay for care and keep insurance. The Health Security Watch describes…

Quality of Care in Community Health Centers and Factors Associated with Performance

This study examines quality among health centers relative to Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs). Chronic care quality among health centers is high; gaps in women’s preventive care are a concern. Lower-performing health centers have very high uninsured and homeless rates. The expansion of Medicaid and private insurance under the ACA may foster gains in health center quality performance.

The Individual Mandate: How Sweeping?

The so-called “individual mandate”  – the provision under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires most individuals to carry a minimum level of insurance coverage and is now being considered by the Supreme Court – has emerged as the least popular element of the reform law and the prime target for…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.