Under health care reform, states will have the opportunity to
expand Medicaid to millions of uninsured US adults. Information regarding this population is vital to physicians as they prepare for more patients with coverage. Our objective was to describe demographic and health
characteristics of potentially eligible Medicaid beneficiaries.
Under the ACA, physicians can anticipate a potentially eligible Medicaid population with equal if not better current health status and lower prevalence of obesity and depression than current Medicaid beneficiaries. Federal Medicaid expenditures for newly covered beneficiaries therefore may not be as high as anticipated in the short term. Given the higher prevalence of tobacco smoking and alcohol use, however, broad enrollment and engagement of this potentially eligible population is needed to address their higher prevalence of modifiable risk factors for future chronic disease.
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