Medical Debt Is Generally Higher In States That Didn’t Expand Medicaid

A study finds states that didn’t expanded their Medicaid programs under the federal health law saw the percentage of people with unpaid medical bills fall only about half as much as in states that expanded. Also, a plan to reform Michigan’s auto insurance could backfire on the Medicaid program, and questions are raised about Kentucky officials’ attempts to keep documents private dealing with their efforts to revamp the state’s Medicaid program.


KCUR:
In States Like Missouri And Kansas That Didn’t Expand Medicaid, Residents Carry Higher Medical Debt


In 2015, 30.6 percent of Missouri adults ages 18 to 64 had past due medical debt, the seventh-highest rate in the country. Kansas, at 27 percent, had the 15th highest rate.  Researchers Aaron Sojourner and Ezra Golbertstein of the University of Minnesota studied financial data from 2012 to 2015 for people who would be eligible for Medicaid where it was expanded. They found that in states that didn’t expand, the percentage of low-income, nonelderly adults with unpaid medical bills dropped from 47 to 40 percent within three years. … But in expansion states? “Where they did expand Medicaid, it fell by almost twice as much,” Sojourner says. (Smith, 10/4)


The Detroit News:
Auto Reform Plan: $150M More In Medicaid Costs


A new bipartisan auto insurance reform plan backed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and House Speaker Tom Leonard would reduce motorist premiums but shift significant health care costs onto Medicaid, according to a new analysis. The non-partisan House Fiscal Agency projects the plan would increase costs for the government health insurance program by $10 million in the first year of implementation and $150 million a year within a decade. (Oosting, 10/3)


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