If you give people coverage, they use it
More than 500,000 individuals in the U.S. experience homeless at any given time, and many of those individuals qualify for Medicaid in states that expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act.
Medicaid expansion can be helpful for individuals unable to afford private health insurance. Medicaid expansion has been found to slow rates of health decline for some low-income adults, for example. But to date, little is known about the relationship between those experiencing homelessness gaining coverage through Medicaid expansion and health care service use.
With homelessness on the rise in the United States, it is important to study such trends and what implications they may have for both those experiencing homelessness and health care providers.
On today’s episode of A Health Podyssey, Alan Weil interviews Dr. Jeral Self, a researcher at Mathematica and an adjunct faculty member at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, on how Medicaid expansion affected health care utilization for adults experiencing homelessness in Arkansas.
Listen to what this new data reveal about the health care needs of those experiencing homelessness.