News Center for Advancing Health Services, Policy & Economics Research Health Care

Center releases analysis of what’s ahead for Medicaid expansion in Missouri

By Kim Furlow, communications manager & Timothy McBride, Co-director of the Center for Health Economics & Policy at the Institute for Public Health

Since Medicaid expansion was passed by voters in Missouri in August 2020, the Center for Health Economics & Policy at Washington University has been producing analyses to help state and local service organizations and the public understand what Medicaid expansion means for Missouri. Through a series of policy briefs and data visualizations, the Center’s analyses explore topics such as the number of people expected to enroll in the Medicaid expansion, the distribution of where the new enrollees will live, their demographic and health characteristics, and the capacity of the health system to serve the new enrollees.

To cite one example, one of the Center’s papers describes Characteristics of New Expansion Enrollees, the roughly 274,000 adults expected to enroll under the new expansion, and finds that roughly three-fifths of the enrollees will be previously uninsured and about 40 percent will live in rural areas. 

In other work, the Center explores the Health Status of Expected New Expansion Enrollees, finding that the adult expansion group (AEG) appears to be relatively healthier than the current adult Medicaid population; however, there is still a significant prevalence of chronic disease among the AEG.

Further analysis describes the Geographic Distribution of New Expansion Enrollees showing how the new expansion eligibles will be distributed across the state.  This analysis should be useful in predicting the expected increase in the demand for health care services across the state.

The Center also explored the Geographic Distribution of Health Care Providers, showing that health care professionals are concentrated in population-dense cities, particularly St. Louis and Kansas City. This information may be viewed as the starting point to assess provider capacity to take Medicaid patients; there are additional factors to be considered through ongoing research.

Interactive maps and tables for providers for providers by county are available on the Center’s website as well.

The Center’s work is supported through a grant from Missouri Foundation for Health, to the Center for Health Economics and Policy and the Center for Health Law Studies at Saint Louis University. Publications from 2020 concerning Medicaid expansion, including policy briefs and executive summaries stemming from Transforming Healthcare in Missouri events presented by the Center for Health Economics and Policy at the Institute for Public Health and the Clark-Fox Policy Institute at the Brown School, can be found on our webpage.