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Christopher Flavelle

You Qualify for Medicaid: Don't Sign Up

New research shows that even small premiums deter people from signing up for Medicaid. For some states, that seems to be the point.
Small premiums, big signs.
Small premiums, big signs.

The debate over Obamacare's Medicaid expansion divides states into two broad categories -- those that expand their program and those that don't. New research suggests we should talk more about a third group: States that agree to expand Medicaid, then impose premiums whose only purpose seems to be keeping people out of the program.

A paper released today in the journal Health Affairs, written by researchers from the federal government's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, seeks to quantify the effect of premium increases on children's enrollment in Medicaid or its sister plan, the Children's Health Insurance Program. They found that even small premiums lead to big drops in sign-ups.