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VOLUME 52 | NUMBER 3 | JUNE 2017


Medicaid Disenrollment and Disparities in Access to Care: Evidence from Tennessee

Objective: To assess the effects of Tennessee's 2005 Medicaid disenrollment on access to health care among low-income nonelderly adults.

Data Source/Study Setting: We use data from the 2003–2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Study Design: We examined the effects of Medicaid disenrollment on access to care among adults living in Tennessee compared with neighboring states, using difference-in-difference models.

Principal Findings: Evidence suggests that Medicaid disenrollment resulted in significant decreases in health insurance and increases in cost-related barriers to care for low-income adults living in Tennessee. Statistically significant changes were not observed for having a personal doctor.

Conclusions: Medicaid disenrollment is associated with reduced access to care. This finding is relevant for states considering expansions or contractions of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

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