A landmark study of Medicaid enrollees in Oregon found that while coverage had a significant impact on reducing depression and financial hardship, researchers found no statistically significant improvements in some chronic illess outcomes after two years (Source: “Medicaid Access Increases Use of Care, Study Finds,” New York Times, May 1, 2013).
The findings of the Oregon Health Study, which compared thousands of low-income people in Oregon who received access to Medicaid with an identical population that did not, were published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The study found that those who gained Medicaid coverage spent more on health care, making more visits to doctors and trips to the hospital. But the study suggests that Medicaid coverage did not make those adults much healthier, at least within the two-year time frame of the research, judging by their blood pressure, blood sugar and other measures. It did, however, substantially reduce the incidence of depression, and it made them vastly more financially secure.