Workers Across Kentucky’s Economy Could Gain Health Insurance through Medicaid Expansion
Workers at restaurants, construction sites, grocery stores and child care centers
among those who would benefit
Moving forward with the Medicaid expansion in Kentucky would provide health coverage to more than 146,000 uninsured workers across the Kentucky economy, according to a new brief by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy using data from the American Community Survey.
The expansion would offer health coverage to workers in a broad range of industries and services that help drive Kentucky’s economy and improve our quality of life—including restaurants, motor vehicle production, schools and universities, nursing care facilities, and hospitals. The brief provides details of the industries with the largest number of workers who would benefit.
Through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) states have the opportunity to expand Medicaid to adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line—$31,809 for a family of four.
“Many of the workers who could gain coverage work at jobs that involve caring for the health and well-being of others,” said KCEP Research and Policy Associate Ashley Spalding. “And many do work that is physically demanding or that exposes them to significant health risks. The Medicaid expansion provides an opportunity to improve the health and well-being of these workers who are so critical to the state’s economy and our daily lives.”
In addition to benefitting workers and the state economy, the Medicaid expansion is a good deal for Kentucky. The state would pay nothing for the first three years, and no more than 10 percent of the cost after that.
The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan initiative that conducts research, analysis and education on important policy issues facing the Commonwealth. Launched in 2011, the Center is a project of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED).