Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Study: Medicaid Cuts Lead To More Uninsured

The Missouri Foundation for Health is out with a new study examining the impact of the 2005 Medicaid cuts in Missouri.

Among its findings:

  • Most of the increase in the number of Missouri’s uninsured -- from 668,000 in 2005 to 772,000 in 2007 -- can be tied to the cuts in the Medicaid program.
  • Only 8 percent of adult survey participants who lost health insurance coverage were able to access employer sponsored insurance
  • For those who reported a change in or loss of their Medicaid coverage, 53 percent reported a negative change in health status.
  • Most of the children (88%) experienced no change in their Medicaid coverage.

“At the time the Medicaid cuts were being made, we heard that those losing their health insurance would be able to access coverage through their employers. But what we have seen is that the cost to employers to provide health care has increased to a point where they either have to place more of the cost onto the employees or they stop offering health insurance altogether,” said Dr. James Kimmey, president of MFH.

To conduct the study, MFH partnered with the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and contracted with the Center for Health Policy at Washington University. The study was designed to capture data from people in their daily environment rather than in a health care setting, and therefore interviewed Medicaid recipients either in their homes or by telephone.

The research team completed surveys with 844 rental households in St. Louis City, Kansas City, Springfield, Kirksville, and Carthage. These households represent 844 adult respondents and 581 children for a total of 1,425 residents.

To read the study, visit www.mffh.org

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