Study findings in Psychiatric Services project that a significant proportion of homeless and at-risk veterans currently receiving Veterans Affairs health care may become eligible for Medicaid upon expansion.
To assess the proportion of homeless and at-risk for homelessness veterans likely to become eligible for Medicaid in 2014, researchers categorized 114,497 veterans currently enrolled in Veterans Affairs (VA) health care into three groups: currently covered by Medicaid, likely to become eligible for Medicaid and not likely to become eligible.
Researchers found that 78% of the study cohort would likely be eligible for Medicaid in states that expand Medicaid.
Veterans considered likely to be eligible for Medicaid were less likely to have general medical and psychiatric conditions and a disability connected to VA service compared with veterans not likely to become eligible for Medicaid.
Those considered likely to be eligible for Medicaid were more likely to have substance use disorders than those considered not likely to be eligible for Medicaid.
In response to these findings, researchers recommended programs serving homeless and at-risk veterans should anticipate the potential interaction between VA health care and the expansion of Medicaid. – by Amanda Oldt
Disclosure: The study was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development. The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.