A new research letter published by JAMA Internal Medicine found that Medicaid enrollees were generally satisfied with their coverage and most reported being able to get the care they needed.
Michael L. Barnett, M.D., M.S., and Benjamin D. Sommers, M.D., Ph.D., of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, analyzed data from the first-ever national Medicaid Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and System (n=272,679) survey administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 46 states and Washington, D.C. From December 2014 to July 2015, CMS sampled four groups of adults enrolled in Medicaid as of fall 2013: people with disabilities; patients dually enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare; nondisabled adults in managed care; and nondisabled adults in fee-for-service medical care. There was a 23.6 percent response rate.
The authors report:
- Overall, Medicaid enrollees gave their health care an average rating of 7.9 on a scale of 0 to 10.
- For physician access, 84 percent of enrollees reported they were able to get all the care that they or their physician believed was necessary in the past six months, while 83 percent reported having a usual source of care.
- The average percentage of beneficiaries able to get all needed care was higher in Medicaid expansion states than in nonexpansion states (85.2 percent vs. 81.5 percent).
- Overall, 3 percent of enrollees reported not being able to get care because of waiting times or physicians not accepting their insurance.
The authors note the data are limited by the survey response rate and the use of pre-Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment to define the sample.
"In summary, we found that Medicaid enrollees are largely satisfied with their care and that few perceived their insurance as a major barrier to care. Changes to Medicaid that would result in millions of beneficiaries losing coverage could have major adverse effects," the research letter concludes.
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