Diabetes is a chronic health condition contributing to a substantial burden of disease. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 10.9 million people were newly insured by Medicaid between 2013 and 2016. Considering this coverage expansion, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could significantly affect people with diabetes in their management of the disease. This study evaluates the impact of the Medicaid expansion under the ACA on diabetes management.
This study includes 22,335 individuals with diagnosed diabetes from the 2011 to 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. It uses a difference-in-differences approach to evaluate the impact of the Medicaid expansion on self-reported access to health care, self-reported diabetes management, and self-reported health status. Additionally, it performs a triple-differences analysis to compare the impact between Medicaid expansion and nonexpansion states considering diabetes rates of the states.
Significant improvements in Medicaid expansion states as compared with non–Medicaid expansion states were evident in self-reported access to health care (0.09 score; P = 0.023), diabetes management (1.91 score; P = 0.001), and health status (0.10 score; P = 0.026). Among states with large populations with diabetes, states that expanded Medicaid reported substantial improvements in these areas in comparison with those that did not expand.
The Medicaid expansion has significant positive effects on self-reported diabetes management. While states with large diabetes populations that expanded Medicaid have experienced substantial improvements in self-reported diabetes management, non–Medicaid expansion states with high diabetes rates may be facing health inequalities. The findings provide policy implications for the diabetes care community and policy makers.