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January 19, 2024

Study: Cancer patients fare better in Medicaid expansion states

A new study by the American Cancer Society found that cancer patients in states that have expanded eligibility to Medicaid fare better (Source: “Cancer patients get better coverage, care in states that expand Medicaid, study says,” USA Today, Jan. 14).

study published last week sought to measure how pivotal insurance coverage is for people with cancer. The study led by American Cancer Society researchers compared cancer patients in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act with patients in states that did not.

The study found Medicaid expansion increased cancer screening and early diagnosis, provided better care for cancer patients and decreased racial disparities among cancer patients.

In states that expanded Medicaid, about 1 in 5 college- or working-age adults diagnosed with cancer were insured by Medicaid. Just 2% of cancer patients in these states were uninsured as of 2019, the last year included in the study.

By comparison, 8.1% of cancer patients in non-expansion states were uninsured as of 2019.

Ohio was among the first states to expand Medicaid eligibility in 2014.