Study: Virginia Medicaid expansion increased financial security for enrollees
Chesterfield resident Geneva Gordon was forced to file for bankruptcy after receiving a $21,000 hospital bill for a reconstructive wrist surgery while uninsured. Leaving her previous job left her without insurance, living paycheck to paycheck and constantly worrying about getting sick and adding to her growing medical debt.
Gordon has since enrolled in Medicaid, which she said has helped her tremendously in the three years she’s had it.
“It’s 100% affordable,” Gordon said. “I haven’t really truly been limited on where I can go and who I can see.”
Individuals like Gordon enrolled in Medicaid reported less financial stress and greater security for non-medical expenses such as housing and food, according to new research published this month in the journal Health Affairs.
The study focuses on people who were eligible for program enrollment following Virginia’s Medicaid expansion in 2019. Nearly 675,000 adults have enrolled in the state’s program since 2019, when Virginia lawmakers voted, after years of Republican opposition, to expand eligibility by increasing the income threshold to 138% of the federal poverty level and allowing individuals without children.
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