On August 21, the Ohio Department of Medicaid released the 2018 Group VIII data report (see executive summary) showing how healthcare coverage through Medicaid expansion has positively impacted many people in Ohio.
The report credits Medicaid expansion with reducing the uninsured rate, helping low-income residents find work, and providing more access to mental health and addiction services (Source: “Report Touts Benefits of Medicaid Expansion,” The Columbus Dispatch, August 21, 2018). According to report findings, healthcare coverage through Medicaid helps people get and stay healthy; it gives them family stability, employment opportunity, and financial security.
Since 2014, more than 1.26 million individuals have enrolled in Ohio Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act-associated Medicaid expansion, nearly one-fifth (18.1%) of the Ohio population ages 19-64. Medicaid expansion has dramatically reduced the uninsured rate among the lowest-income Ohioans.
- 290,000 former expansion beneficiaries, or 71%, left the rolls because they found a job or were earning more money.
- About half of all enrollees, 630,000 beneficiaries, have received treatment for mental illness or substance abuse.
- Ohio’s adult uninsured rate, although up slightly since 2015, has still dropped by nearly half since 2012, to 9.3%.
- More than three-fourths (75.7%) of expansion beneficiaries who are family caregivers reported that Medicaid made it easier for them to care for their family member(s), as did more than four-fifths of parents (81.6%).
- A large majority of employed Medicaid expansion enrollees (83.5%) reported that Medicaid made it easier to work; most unemployed enrollees (60.0%) reported that Medicaid made it easier to look for work. Many reported that Medicaid made it easier to work because they were able to obtain care for previously untreated health conditions. In the words of one enrollee: “[Medicaid] allowed me to have surgery which has allowed me to return to work.”
- When asked what Medicaid meant to them, 35.7% of survey respondents specifically mentioned either their health or access to care. In the words of one respondent: “If it wasn’t for Medicaid, I would not have been able to pay for surgery that was needed for a heart condition I was born with.”
- More than one third (37.0%) of expansion enrollees who quit smoking in the last two years said that Medicaid helped them to quit. This translates to approximately 26,000 Ohioans.