Document Type

Policy Brief

Publication Date

9-16-2019

Keywords

Medicaid, sociodemographic, health, rural, Maine, Cutler, Muskie School, MRHRC

Abstract

This data brief identifies key characteristics of groups who will gain access through MaineCare expansion. Researchers Croll and Ziller at the University of Southern Maine, along with Leonardson of the Maine Health Access Foundation present a statistical analysis of uninsured non-elderly adults age 18 – 64 with no children and lower incomes, the population newly eligible for MaineCare through expansion. Drawing from five years of data from Maine’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the report addresses sociodemographic characteristics, health status, and access to care. The survey indicates that those who are likely eligible for expanded MaineCare coverage are twice as likely as other nonelderly adults to be aged 55-64, and are more likely to be unmarried and live in small or isolated regions of North and Downeast Maine. Only 11% of these individuals have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Thirty-three percent of these adults have not seen a doctor in the last year due to cost, and 20% have not received a routine checkup in five or more years. Overall, the newly eligible adults are more than three times as likely to self-report their health as fair or poor. The report also notes that this group is more likely than others to face issues with depression, obesity, smoking, and other chronic diseases. However, they are no more or less likely than other nonelderly adults to struggle with substance use disorders.

Funding Organization or Grant

Maine Health Access Foundation

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