Objectives: To study the impact on mortality in Hawaii from the revoked state Medicaid program coverage in March 2015 for most Compact of Free Association (COFA) migrants who were nonblind, nondisabled, and nonpregnant.
Methods: We computed quarterly crude mortality rates for COFA migrants, Whites, and Japanese Americans from March 2012 to November 2018. We employed a difference-in-difference research design to estimate the impact of the Medicaid expiration on log mortality rates.
Results: We saw larger increases in COFA migrant mortality rates than White mortality rates after March 2015. By 2018, the increase was 43% larger for COFA migrants (P = .003). Mortality trends over this period were similar for Whites and Japanese Americans, who were not affected by the policy.
Conclusions: Mortality rates of COFA migrants increased after Medicaid benefits expired despite the availability of state-funded premium coverage for private insurance and significant outreach efforts to reduce the impact of this coverage change.