Xin Hu, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, is first author of a study in collaboration with the American Cancer Society about how cancer patients with health insurance coverage may access better care, including increased screenings and early diagnosis. The study attracted widespread national media attention including coverage in USA Today.
Dr. Hu’s study presents population-based estimates of health insurance coverage among incident cancer cases across 48 states and the District of Columbia from 2010 to 2019. The findings reveal a notable increase in Medicaid coverage in states that expanded Medicaid, rising from 14.1% in 2010 to 19.9% in 2019, with only 2.1% uninsured by 2019.
In contrast, non-expansion states had 8.1% of cancer patients uninsured by 2019. This high percentage in non-expansion states raises concerns about potential impacts on prognosis and survival.
Given the upcoming March 2023 unwinding of Medicaid coverage protection, ongoing monitoring and effective implementation of state Medicaid and other cancer programs are crucial to ensure adequate and equitable access to cancer care.
Read the full study in Health Affairs Scholar.