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AHRQ Study Shows Families Could Save More Than $1,000 on Average if States Expanded Medicaid


A new AHRQ study published in Health Affairs estimated that low income, uninsured adults could have saved, on average, more than $1,000 per year in family out-of-pocket health care costs if they were able to enroll in Medicaid, according to the analysis by AHRQ researcher Steven Hill, Ph.D. The study measured family out-of-pocket health care spending in 2005-2010 among uninsured, low-income adults who gained eligibility for Health Insurance Marketplace coverage because they lived in states that had not yet expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. It then compared those data with the following simulated scenarios for these adults: coverage in a Marketplace silver plan with financial assistance and enrolling in expanded Medicaid. Findings revealed under a Marketplace silver plan, average out-of-pocket health care spending would have been $1,948 per year, while under Medicaid, out-of-pocket health care spending would have been $938 a year. Thus, enrolling in Medicaid would have saved these adults’ families approximately $1,000 per year, on average, compared with a Marketplace silver plan.


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