Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

States opting out of Medicaid leave 1.1 million community health center patients without health insurance

Date:
May 9, 2014
Source:
George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services
Summary:
An estimated 1.1 million community health center patients are left without the benefits of health coverage simply because they live in one of 24 states that have opted out of the Medicaid expansion, a key part of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report. The vast majority (71 percent) of the 1.1 million patients left behind live in just 11 southern states (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA).

An estimated 1.1 million community health center patients will remain without health insurance because they live in one of 24 states that have rejected the Medicaid expansion.
Credit: Credit: GW/RCHN Community Health Foundation

An estimated 1.1 million community health center patients are left without the benefits of health coverage simply because they live in one of 24 states that have opted out of the Medicaid expansion, a key part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new report.

The research, by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University also shows that the vast majority (71 percent) of the 1.1 million patients left behind live in just 11 southern states (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA).

"These low-income patients, many of them living in the South, already face significant challenges to obtaining health care," says lead author Peter Shin, PhD, MPH, director of the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy and an associate professor of health policy at Milken Institute SPH. "Our analysis suggests these patients will remain without access to affordable insurance, which will almost certainly lead to delays in care and the risk of more serious health conditions."

The new report updates earlier estimates to reflect health center growth between 2011 and 2012 as reported in the Uniform Data System. This latest analysis, like the previous one which was published in 2013, examines what happens to community health centers and their patients in both the Medicaid expansion states, including New Hampshire, which recently decided to expand Medicaid -- as well as the 24 states that have continued to reject the Medicaid expansion.

In 2012, community health centers served 20.7 million patients in 8,000 medically underserved communities throughout the United States. Community health center patients tend to be uninsured or underinsured and they are typically much poorer than uninsured patients generally.

Shin and his colleagues estimate that the ACA would have helped 5.2 million out of a total of 7.5 million uninsured community health center patients to gain health coverage either by buying affordable policies or qualifying for Medicaid under the expansion programs. However, 1.1 million of the 5.2 million who could have gained coverage will remain uninsured due to states' decisions to opt out of the Medicaid expansion.

This report also shows that of the 1.1 million community health center patients left struggling without insurance, 35 percent live in just five opt-out states (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS).

"Health center patients living in the South remain disproportionately affected by the failure to expand Medicaid," says Sara Rosenbaum, JD, the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy at Milken Institute SPH. "Of the community health center patients denied coverage by virtue of their zip code, most live in the south and more than one third lives in the Deep South." Poor, minority patients in these states already face troubling disparities in health and health care. The decision to reject the Medicaid expansion threatens to make those disparities even worse, the report says.

The analysis also shows that health centers in the opt-out states will likely forgo over half a billion dollars ($569 million) in revenues they would have received under a Medicaid expansion. The loss of potential revenues presents significant challenges to these health centers, which already struggle to care for rising numbers of uninsured patients. In addition, the loss of federal revenues associated with an expansion also means these health centers will not be able to expand into areas that lack access to health care, the report says.

"While the number of uninsured Americans is going down across the nation thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured or underinsured patients seeking care at community health centers continues to grow," says Feygele Jacobs, president and CEO of the RCHN Community Health Foundation. "By rejecting Medicaid expansion, these states are leaving our safety net health care system and the patients it serves in jeopardy."

Community health centers in states that have expanded Medicaid face a very different future with 2.9 million uninsured patients in the expansion states gaining health coverage in 2014, according to the researchers. The increase in insurance payments will generate potential revenues of $2.1 billion in 2014, which help to pay for physicians, nurses, care for patients -- and to further expand into isolated communities without access to crucial health care services.

The report, "Assessing the Potential Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Uninsured Community Health Center Patients: An Update," can be accessed at go.gwu.edu/ggrchnbrief36.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. "States opting out of Medicaid leave 1.1 million community health center patients without health insurance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140509074509.htm>.
George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. (2014, May 9). States opting out of Medicaid leave 1.1 million community health center patients without health insurance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140509074509.htm
George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. "States opting out of Medicaid leave 1.1 million community health center patients without health insurance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140509074509.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins