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Patterns of Coverage Gains Among Young Adult Cancer Patients Following the Affordable Care Act.

Nogueira LM, Chawla N, Han X, Jemal A, Yabroff KR. Patterns of Coverage Gains Among Young Adult Cancer Patients Following the Affordable Care Act. JNCI cancer spectrum. 2019 Mar 1; 3(1):pkz001.

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The dependent coverage expansion (DCE) and Medicaid expansions (ME) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may differentially affect eligibility for health insurance coverage in young adult cancer patients. Studies examining temporal patterns of coverage changes in young adults following these policies are lacking. We used data from the National Cancer Database 2003-2015 to conduct a quasi-experimental study of cancer patients ages 19-34?years, grouped as DCE-eligible (19- to 25-year-olds) and DCE-ineligible (27- to 34-year-olds). Although private insurance coverage in DCE-eligible cancer patients increased incrementally following DCE implementation (0.5 per quarter; < .001), an immediate effect on Medicaid coverage gains was observed after ME in all young adult cancer patients (3.01 for DCE-eligible and 1.62 for DCE-ineligible, both < .001). Therefore, DCE and ME each had statistically significant and distinct effects on insurance coverage gains. Distinct temporal patterns of ACA policies' impact on insurance coverage gains likely affect patterns of receipt of cancer care. Temporal patterns should be considered when evaluating the impact of health policies.

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