Introduction The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded the coverage of Medicaid to include entire population with income below 138% of federal poverty line. It remains unclear whether this policy change has improved access to and utilization of health care, particularly use of mammography and Pap tests among poor women.
Methods We used a difference-in-difference (DID) design to estimate the impact of Medicaid expansion on mammography and Pap tests utilization among low-income women. Expansion states are the treatment group and non-expansion states are the control group. The years 2012–13 are the pre-expansion period and 2015–16 are the post-expansion period for the purpose of estimating the DID parameters.
Results The difference-in-difference estimate show that likelihood of utilizing mammograms did not change significantly among low-income women after the implementation of Medicaid expansion (DID coefficient -0.0476 with t-statistics at -1.26), Pap test decreased (coefficient -0.0615, t-statistics -2.76), and Medicaid enrollment has increased significantly among low-income women living in expansion states (coefficient 0.0889 with t-value of 3.68).
Conclusion Expansion of Medicaid was associated with increased Medicaid enrollment but did not yield near-term improvement in use of mammography and Pap tests among low-income women. Factors beyond health insurance coverage may be important in determining the likelihood of obtaining these screenings. Policy makers should try to identify other barriers to cancer screenings among low-income women in the USA.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Published in Plos One, Volume 14, Issue 4, 2019.
© 2019 Alharbi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Alharbi, A. G., Khan, M. M., Horner, R., Brandt, H., & Chapman, C. (2019). Impact of Medicaid Coverage Expansion Under the Affordable Care Act on Mammography and Pap Tests Utilization Among Low-Income Women. PLOS ONE, 14(4), e0214886.