New Report Shows Medicaid Expansion Cuts Uninsured Rate in Half
BATON ROUGE – Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards praised a report showing that the number of residents who are uninsured has fallen to half of what it was in 2015 and more Louisianans are getting better access to care since Louisiana expanded Medicaid, according to the 2017 Louisiana Health Insurance Survey.
The report shows that Medicaid expansion, the federal/state health care program that provides health coverage for individuals with income less than 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, has decreased uninsured rates dramatically among adults and Louisianans are getting the care they need without delay.
“Through Medicaid expansion, we are bringing our federal tax dollars back to Louisiana to save lives and improve health outcomes for the working poor people of our state,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Not only are we saving hundreds of millions of dollars and creating thousands of jobs because of expansion, we are also saving lives by having more people insured.”
The survey shows that:
- Medicaid expansion has contributed to a dramatic drop in uninsured non-elderly adults in Louisiana, from 644,217 (22.7 percent) in 2015 to 321,477 (11.4 percent) in 2017.
- Uninsured rates remain very low for children, in line with recent trends. An estimated 28,990 children were uninsured in 2017, representing 2.4 percent of children.
- Among survey respondents, 87 percent indicated that they did not delay care at any point in the prior 12 months.
- If patterns of Medicaid coverage among adults follow the long-run patterns of Medicaid coverage among children in years after program expansion, uninsured rates may drop further in the coming years.
"The Governor's decision to expand Medicaid has saved lives and improved the health of the people of our state," said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary, Louisiana Department of Health. "Many thousands of working adults are leading more productive lives because they are better able to care for themselves and their families."
The survey was completed by LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business, Economics & Policy Research Group, Manship School of Mass Communication and Public Policy Research Lab, and sponsored by The Louisiana Department of Health. The report provides the first robust estimates of the impact of Medicaid expansion on insurance coverage. While employer coverage continues to be the leading source of coverage among adults, Medicaid is now playing an increasingly important role in providing coverage thanks to expansion.
“These results provide another great example of how the Louisiana Health Insurance Survey continues to provide valuable information for tracking changes in health insurance and access to care in Louisiana,” said Stephen Barnes, director of the LSU Economics & Policy Research Group, “and the dramatic drop in uninsured rates among adults marks the first major improvement in coverage for adults since the survey began in 2003.”
In June, Gov. Edwards and Dr. Gee unveiled an economy study showing that Medicaid expansion generated $3.57 billion and created more than 19,000 jobs in Louisiana. That report is available by clicking here.
About the Louisiana Department of Health
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. The Louisiana Department of Health includes the Office of Public Health, Office of Aging & Adult Services, Office of Behavioral Health, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, and Healthy Louisiana (Medicaid). To learn visit www.ldh.la.gov or follow on Twitter, Facebook, or blog.