Medicaid Expansion as Unemployment Safety Net
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:
- 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?
- Second, did coverage expansions have the unintended consequence of increasing the duration of unemployment spells?
Helen G Levy