The Effect of Medicaid Expansion on Caregiver’s Quality of Life


Medicaid expansion has been shown to improve access to care, health, and finances in general populations. Until now no studies have considered how Medicaid expansion may affect informal family caregivers who are the backbone of the long term supports and services infrastructure. Family caregivers provide substantial cost savings to Medicare and Medicaid. Yet, they sustain financial, physical, and mental health strain from their caregiving role which Medicaid expansion may offset. This study evaluated the impact of Medicaid expansion on caregivers’ mental health using 2015-2018 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. After adjusting for demographics, socioeconomic status, and health behaviors, caregivers in Medicaid expansion states had a significantly fewer number of poor mental health days in the previous month than caregivers in non-expansion states (ß=-0.528, CI -1.019, -0.036, p<0.01). Study findings indicate that Medicaid expansion state status was protective for caregiver’s mental health.

In Social Work in Public Health

This paper looked at the effect of Medicaid expansion had on a family caregiver’s mental health quality of life. We used data from over 250,000 individuals in 22 states across 4 years and a difference-in-difference approach to illustrate that caregivers in Medicaid expansion states had roughly 1/2 day of fewer mental health quality of life days per month.

Bea Capistrant
Bea Capistrant
Research Lead & VP of Healthcare Innovation

Data Scientist focused on health, health care, and technology that makes the world better.