Study: Medicaid Coverage Improves Health, Financial Security For The Uninsured

Posted Thursday, July 7, 2011 --- 7:20 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Economists at Harvard and MIT have found that signing up for Medicaid could improve a patient's overall health and financial security.

The surprising new study found that having Medicaid significantly increased the chances people will perceive their health as being good to excellent. At the same time, it decreases the likelihood they'll have to borrow money or skip paying other bills because of medical expenses.

The study looked at 10,000 Oregonians who won a state-sponsored lottery for Medicaid in 2008, and compared them to those who applied but weren't picked and remained uninsured.

People with Medicaid were 70 percent more likely to have a regular medical office or clinic for their basic care, and 55 percent more likely to have a personal doctor.

The research offers clues on how President Barack Obama's health care overhaul might affect millions of low-income uninsured Americans.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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