Medicaid beneficiaries rate their coverage and care: 8 findings

Medicaid beneficiaries are overall pleased with their care, and most beneficiaries don't see their coverage as a barrier to care, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

For the study, researchers examined data from the national Medicaid Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and System survey administered by CMS. The survey, conducted from December 2014 to July 2015, includes 46 states and Washington, D.C. Researchers focused on respondents' overall healthcare rating, as well as other outcomes related to access to care.

Here are eight findings, as reported in the study. 

1. Medicaid enrollees rated their overall healthcare coverage, on average, 7.9 out of 10.

2. Almost half of enrollees (46 percent) scored their Medicaid coverage 9 or 10, while only 7.6 percent scored their Medicaid coverage under 5.

3. The study found ratings were "slightly higher" for older adults and beneficiaries eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, but did not greatly differ in the fee-for-service and managed-care groups.

4. The study also found ratings did not greatly differ in states that expanded Medicaid versus states that did not (7.8 compared to 7.9).

5. Overall, the study found ratings were as low as 7.6 and as high as 8.3 among demographic groups.

6. Eighty-four percent of enrollees said they were able to get all the care they or their physician believed was necessary in the past six months, and 83 percent reported having a usual source of care other than the emergency department.

7. The mean percentage of beneficiaries able to get all needed care was 85.2 percent in Medicaid expansion states compared to 81.5 percent in nonexpansion states.

8. Overall, only 3 percent of enrollees said they couldn't receive care due to waiting times or physicians not taking their coverage. Two percent said they didn't have a usual source of care because "no doctors take my insurance."


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