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Medicaid and COVID-19At the Center of Both Health and Economic Crises

Educational Objective
To understand how COVID-19 is affecting Medicaid
1 Credit CME

Nearly 3 months into the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, more than 40 million individuals in the US have filed for unemployment. Without jobs and with lower incomes, millions will lose their health insurance, which will lead to a surge of new enrollees in Medicaid. This is particularly true in the 37 states that implemented Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid expansions, through which most low-income adults other than undocumented or recent immigrants can qualify for coverage. However, in nonexpansion states millions will remain ineligible.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Corresponding Author: Heidi L. Allen, PhD, MSW, School of Social Work, Columbia University, 1255 Amsterdam Ave, Room 709, New York, NY 10027 (ha2332@columbia.edu).

Published Online: June 11, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.10553

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Allen reported receiving grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and receiving personal fees from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Society for Social Work Research, BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute, Redscout, and Milbank Memorial Fund. Dr Sommers reported receiving personal fees from the Health Research & Educational Trust and the Massachusetts Medical Society and receiving grants from Baylor Scott & White.

References
1.
Bachireddy  C , Chen  C , Dar  M .  Securing the safety net and protecting public health during a pandemic: Medicaid’s response to COVID-19.   JAMA. Published online March 19, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4272PubMedGoogle Scholar
2.
Gruber  J , Sommers  BD .  Paying for Medicaid—state budgets and the case for expansion in the time of coronavirus.   N Engl J Med. Published online March 31, 2020. doi:10.1056/NEJMp2007124PubMedGoogle Scholar
3.
State and local government associations urge “robust, flexible” federal relief during pandemic. Published April 21, 2020. Accessed June 3, 2020. https://www.nga.org/news/press-releases/state-and-local-government-associations-urge-robust-flexible-federal-relief-during-pandemic/
4.
Fiedler  M , Furman  J , Powell  W  III . Increasing Federal Support for State Medicaid and CHIP Programs in Response to Economic Downturns. Published May 16, 2019. Accessed June 3, 2020. https://www.brookings.edu/research/increasing-federal-support-for-state-medicaid-and-chip-programs-in-response-to-economic-downturns/
5.
Medicaid Emergency Authority Tracker. Approved state actions to address COVID-19. Published May 27, 2020. Accessed June 3, 2020. https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/medicaid-emergency-authority-tracker-approved-state-actions-to-address-covid-19/
6.
Galewitz  P . States cutting Medicaid benefits as they stagger under economic downturn. Published September 30, 2010. Accessed June 3, 2020. https://khn.org/news/medicaid-cutbacks/
7.
Sommers  BD , Goldman  AL , Blendon  RJ , Orav  EJ , Epstein  AM .  Medicaid work requirements—results from the first year in Arkansas.   N Engl J Med. 2019;381(11):1073-1082. doi:10.1056/NEJMsr1901772PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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