*Names in bold indicate Presenter
We find that the uninsured had some lower health risks relative to those who were already enrolled in Medicaid. For example, they were less likely to be obese and more likely to exercise. Still, one-third of the uninsured adults were obese, half currently smoked, one-quarter reported a functional limitation, and one-quarter reported their health as fair or poor, all factors that could contribute toward health care utilization and spending. The uninsured were less likely than those on Medicaid to have one or more of the three chronic medical conditions we considered in more detail (diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia) (30.1%, CI 27.1-33.4 vs. 40.2%, CI 33.6-46.9). However, conditional upon having a condition, they were more likely to have it undiagnosed or uncontrolled. For instance, nearly one-third of uninsured adults with hypertension were undiagnosed (30.5%, CI 23.4- 37.6) as compared to 17.7% (CI 10.2-25.1) of Medicaid adults. Nearly two-thirds (67.3%, CI 58.8-75.7) of the uninsured with hypertension had uncontrolled hypertension, compared to 40.2% (CI 29.9-50.5) of adults on Medicaid.
While uninsured with income less than 138 percent FPL have fewer health conditions on average than adults currently on Medicaid, there could be a need for care among those with undiagnosed health conditions in the early years following their enrollment in Medicaid. This analysis suggests that if all of the uninsured enrolled, the uninsured who would gain Medicaid coverage would be healthier on average than adults currently enrolled in Medicaid. However, we also found that about one-quarter of possible new Medicaid enrollees with diabetes, hypertension, or hypercholesterolemia did not have the problem diagnosed at the time of NHANES exam and over half did not have the problem properly controlled, suggesting need for care.