Prevalence of Comorbid Conditions and Utilization Patterns Among Medicaid Expansion Enrollees

Xinqi Li , Brown University

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 expanded Medicaid coverage to low-income childless adults, a group that was previously ineligible for Medicaid in most states. The influx of new enrollees created concerns for state budgets, because it was unknown how much the Expansion adults would cost the states. Thus, it is important to understand the medical needs and utilization trends of the new Expansion adults. This analysis used the administrative data from Rhode Island’s Medicaid program from January 2014 to June 2016 to examine the utilization patterns of the Expansion adults, compared to the non-Expansion adults. Pearson's chi-squared tests showed that Expansion adults had higher prevalence on almost all examined comorbid conditions. In multivariate regression models, office visit rates, ED visit rates, and prescription drug use rates were significantly higher among the Expansion adults. Further, the higher utilization rates among Expansion adults may be attributed to Expansion adults with comorbid conditions.

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 Presented in Session 5. Health & Mortality 1