10 Fast Facts about Medicaid

The American Heart Association is working hard to expand Medicaid in Alabama to help more than 220,000 Alabamians work at jobs that don’t offer health insurance.


Many are grocery store employees, nursing home assistants, pharmacy techs, delivery drivers, hairdressers, retail workers, bartenders, and wait staff; others are self-employed, small business owners, farmers and seasonal workers. They earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford private insurance, thus often choosing between life-saving care and putting food on the table.

Are you curious about Medicaid? Here are some fast facts!

  1. Medicaid covers approximately 70.2 million low-income Americans. This includes more than 32.2 million children, 20.4 million adults, 10.5 million individuals with disabilities, and 6.8 million seniors. Approximately 10.9 million of these seniors and people with disabilities have Medicaid coverage as a supplement to Medicare.
  2. Up to 62% of adults aged 18-65 enrolled in Medicaid have at least one chronic condition.
  3. Medicaid ensures health care for those in greatest need – often those with poor health and the greatest need for medical care. As technology advances and the population ages, there will be an increased need for acute and long-term care services among adults with chronic diseases and disabilities.
  4. Medicaid beneficiaries have a high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, with hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes being common comorbidities.
  5. 28% of adults with Medicaid coverage have a history of cardiovascular disease.
  6. Medicaid provides an important safety net for Americans with cardiovascular diseases. Medicaid expansion would have positive effects for individuals with CVD and CVD risk factors, including higher treatment rates among adults with hypertension, fewer coronary heart disease and stroke events, and more adults with prehypertension benefitting from early interventions.
  7. Medicaid is the primary payer for long-term care, covering 6 out of 10 nursing home residents.
  8. Nationally, more than two million low-income uninsured adults fall into the “coverage gap” that results from state decisions not to expand Medicaid- meaning their income is above current Medicaid eligibility but below the lower limit for Marketplace premium tax credits.
  9. A study estimates that states’ failure to expand Medicaid has resulted in nearly 16,000 unnecessary deaths among the Medicaid-eligible population since 2014.
  10. Gaining Medicaid coverage is especially important for those with chronic conditions —they saw greater reductions in out-of-pocket costs than those without chronic conditions ($279 and $152 respectively). Additionally, Medicaid expansion coverage produced greater reductions than subsidized Marketplace coverage in average total out-of-pocket spending and reduced the average size and percentage of people with medical debt.
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