The rate of uninsured women in Nevada decreased by 13 percent after the state expanded Medicaid, according to a new report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2012 that gave states the authority to reject or implement Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval chose to expand, which allowed more low-income people to access health insurance.
The study found the number of women ages 18 to 44 who lacked insurance went from 29 percent to 15.8 percent from 2013 to 2017.
The state had one of the sharpest declines along with West Virginia, New Mexico, Kentucky and California.
“Nevadans should be proud of this significant accomplishment as ensuring women have health coverage during this critical stage of life helps both mother and child,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. “This report underscores the need to keep Medicaid strong, so women and their families have access to continuous health coverage.”
Increasing access to Medicaid, the report notes, also helps reduce maternal death and infant mortality rates and states that chose to expand saw a “50 percent greater reduction in infant mortality compared to non-expansion states.”
“The message of this study is clear: Medicaid expansion can protect the lives and health of women and their babies, especially women of color who are at higher risk for a range of poor outcomes,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical and Health Officer at March of Dimes. “If mom isn’t healthy, then her baby is at higher risk for a whole host of health consequences. If she’s healthy, however, that baby has a much higher likelihood of getting the best possible start in life.”
A prior Georgetown study found that Medicaid expansion helped Nevada’s uninsured rate in rural communities drop from 42 percent in 2008-2009 to 14 percent in 2015-2016.