By
Anne Swerlick
|
April 6, 2020

Expanding Medicaid Would Reduce Disparities in Access to Life-Saving Substance Use Disorder Treatment in Communities of Color

Expanding Medicaid Would Reduce Disparities in Access to Life-Saving Substance Use Disorder Treatment in Communities of Color

Introduction

Communities of color are experiencing higher rates of drug overdose deaths and unmet treatment needs for substance use disorder (SUD). A disproportionate number of individuals in these communities are uninsured. Consequently, they face significant barriers accessing much-needed prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

More than half of the 391,000 Floridians in the Medicaid “coverage gap” are people of color. Individuals in the coverage gap are not eligible for Medicaid under the state's very restrictive income criteria, but they are too poor to qualify for subsidies to purchase insurance on the federal marketplace.

By gaining health insurance coverage through Medicaid expansion, Floridians of color with low income would have greater access to SUD treatment, as well as concurrent care for related physical and mental health disorders.

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