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Preventive Screenings In Kentucky Up Under Medicaid Expansion

consult doctor on the Internet
consult doctor on the Internet

More than 8,500 people with expanded Medicaid coverage got breast cancer screenings in May and June of this year. And more people covered under the expansion received dental, diabetes, Hepatitis C and colorectal cancer screenings.

That's according to a report released Monday by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

In a news release, foundation president and CEO Ben Chandler said one of the benefits of getting more people covered is that they can take advantage of preventive services "that can lead to improved health and lower health care costs in the long run."

"That positive trend is what we're seeing in Kentucky in terms of breast and colorectal cancer screenings, preventive dental services and diabetes and Hepatitis C screenings for Kentuckians with low incomes," Chandler said.

Under the Affordable Care Act, former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear expanded Medicaid in 2014 to childless adults earning up to around $15,000 a year. Gov. Matt Bevin submitted a proposal to the federal government earlier this year to trim back benefits like dental and vision.

The proposed plan would also put in place monthly payments for all enrollees and an annual re-enrollment period that would result in a lock-out period if not completed.

The foundation's report also showed more people in Kentucky are receiving substance abuse treatment covered by both traditional and expanded Medicaid, from 5,675 services during the first few months of 2015 to 15,234 services during the second quarter of 2016.

More than 56,600 substance abuse treatment services have been covered by Medicaid in those 18 months, according to the report.

Lisa Gillespie is WFPL's Health and Innovation Reporter.