Paper cutout of family Two studies found that Medicaid expansion improved financial security measures, such as credit scores, while reducing financial insecurity measures, such as medical debt collection balances.(Photo: Shutterstock)

More Americans would have had access to health insurance without harming state budgets during the COVID-19 pandemic if every state had expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, according to a report from the Urban Institute.

“We find the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the impact of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion,” researcher Matthew Buettgens said. “If the 14 states that had not expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2020 had done so, the number of uninsured people would have dropped by 4.4 million in the last three quarters of the year, 600,000 more people than we estimated absent the pandemic. Further, young adults would experience the largest gains in health coverage.”

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