Association of Medicaid Expansion Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act With Use of Long-term Care.
Importance: Medicaid expansion is associated with increased access to health services, increased quality of medical care delivered, and reduced mortality, but little is known about its association with use of long-term care. Objective: To examine the association of Medicaid expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) with long-term care use among newly eligible low-income adults and among older adults whose eligibility did not change. Design, Setting, and Participants: This difference-in-difference cohort study used data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative longitudinal survey of persons 50 years or older. Long-term care use from 2008 to 2012 was compared with use from 2014 to 2016 among low-income adults aged 50 to 64 years without Medicare coverage residing in states in which Medicaid coverage expanded in 2014 and those living in states without expansion. Low-income adults who were covered by Medicare and were ineligible for expanded Medicaid were also included in the analysis. Data were analyzed from January 15, 2018, to December 31, 2019. Exposures: Residence in a state with Medicaid expansion in 2014. Main Outcomes and Measures: Any home health care use or any nursing home use in 2014 or 2016. All estimates are weighted to account for the Health and Retirement Study sampling design. Results: Among the 891 individuals likely eligible for expanded Medicaid, the mean (SD) age was 55.2 (3.1) years; 534 (53.4%) were women, 482 (49.5%) were married, and 661 (45.9%) were White non-Hispanic. Before the ACA-funded Medicaid expansion, 0.4% (95% CI, -0.3% to 1.1%) in expansion states and 1.0% (95% CI, -0.1% to 2.2%) in nonexpansion states used nursing homes, and 1.9% (95% CI, 0.4%-3.4%) in expansion states and 7.1% (95% CI, 4.7%-9.5%) in nonexpansion states used any formal home care. The ACA-funded Medicaid expansion was associated with an increase of 4.4 percentage points (95% CI, 2.8-6.1 percentage points) in the probability of any long-term care use among low-income, middle-aged adults, with increases in home health use (3.8 percentage points; 95% CI, 2.0-5.6 percentage points) and in any nursing home use (2.1 percentage points; 95% CI, 0.9-3.3 percentage points). Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, ACA-funded Medicaid expansion was associated with an increase in any long-term care use among newly eligible low-income, middle-aged adults, suggesting that the population covered by the Medicaid expansion may have had unmet long-term care needs before expansion.
Van Houtven, CH; McGarry, BE; Jutkowitz, E; Grabowski, DC
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