New report shows Medicaid expansion can improve behavioral health care access

Nearly 2 million low-income uninsured people with a substance use disorder or a mental illness lived in states that had not yet expanded Medicaid in 2014

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report showing that states can greatly improve access to behavioral health services for residents by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Substance use disorders and mental illness are prevalent and serious public health problems in American communities. According to today’s report, in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, an estimated 1.9 million uninsured people with a mental illness or substance use disorder lived in states that have not yet expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and had incomes that could qualify them for coverage. The report finds that people with behavioral health needs made up a substantial share of all low-income uninsured individuals in these states: nearly 30 percent. While some of these individuals had access to some source of health insurance in 2014, many will gain access to coverage only if their states expand Medicaid, and others would gain access to more affordable coverage.

Read more about today’s announcement.

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on March 28, 2016

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