Medicaid Expansion as Unemployment Safety Net


Project Summary

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created new, subsidized alternatives to employer-sponsored health insurance that may mitigate the consequences of job loss. This study assesses the ACA’s role as a safety net for the unemployed. Using data from the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey, and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we address two questions:

  1. First, has the ACA increased insurance coverage and medical care access among unemployed individuals in states that expanded Medicaid relative to the unemployed in states that did not?
  2. Second, did coverage expansions have the unintended consequence of increasing the duration of unemployment spells?


Helen G Levy

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