Study predicts 6 million added to Medicaid rolls with implementation of health reform

Truven Health Analytics study forecasts effects of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The healthcare reform law will add 6 million Americans to Medicaid and 21 million to affordable insurance exchanges, according to a new study.

Truven Health Analytics drew data from the Truven Health Insurance Coverage Estimates database, which includes Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance enrollment rates and geographic, population, demographic and other data, analyzing it to estimate bottom-line effects when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect next year. Among other findings, the study, titled "Coverage Expansion Under the ACA: Challenges for Government, Health Plans, and Providers," estimated that Medicaid enrollment would increase from 2012's 47 million to 53 million in 2016.

"The U.S. Supreme Court's decision last June to uphold the individual mandate of the ACA, but prohibit penalties for states that elect not to expand Medicaid, created uncertainty about the volume and health risk profiles of newly insured patients that can be expected starting in 2014," Truven president and CEO Mike Boswood said. "However, by leveraging the power of big data and statistical modeling techniques, we are able to make detailed projections that bring much needed clarity to states, health plans and providers on the changing dynamics of the soon-to-be-insured population so that they may plan accordingly."

Other findings included an estimate that New York and Los Angeles would see the largest absolute increase in Medicaid rolls, and large increases would also occur in Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. Meanwhile, newly insured patients would show lower reported use of services, but that this would change once they were insured as the number of uninsured Americans would drop from 49 million in 2012 to 27 million in 2016.


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