Medicaid Expansion Means Better Access to Diabetes Meds

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In U.S. states that expanded Medicaid eligibility in low-income adults in 2014 and 2015 as part of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, more prescriptions were written for diabetes medications, according to a study from the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California, compared to states that didn’t expand Medicaid.

The researchers analyzed more than 96 million prescriptions for diabetes medications filled using Medicaid between 2008 and 2015. In the 29 states and the District of Columbia that expanded Medicaid, they found an additional 30 diabetes prescriptions per 1,000 people.

According to the researchers, the number of prescriptions went up for metformin, which is typically prescribed for newly diagnosed patients, and advanced forms of insulin. There were 40 percent more prescriptions for insulin, and those for newer medications went up by 39 percent in states that expanded Medicaid. Diabetes prescriptions in non-expansion states were mostly unchanged during the study period.

Sourced from: Health Affairs