According to a report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, people newly covered by Medicaid in 2014 have caused a significant increase in prescription drug use. For instance, states that have expanded Medicaid programs saw a 25.4 percent increase in prescriptions over the past year. In states that chose not to expand their Medicaid programs, prescription drug use only increased by 2.8 percent.
The report sheds light on how consumers used their insurance in 2014, after millions of Americans gained coverage from the Affordable Care Act. This health care law expanded Medicaid eligibility in many states and set up marketplaces for consumers to shop for insurance. To learn more about U.S. medicine use and spending in 2014, click here.