Medicaid was originally kind of a throw-in when Medicare was started. It is joint federal-state program under which the states historically paid most of the cost and had some flexibility in designing their programs. The reform law attempted to tackle the problem of people without health insurance in part by expanding Medicaid and to induce states to agree to the expansion, the federal government is taking on the additional cost for some period of time. The Medicaid expansion added a substantial number of people to the program, at a cost significantly higher than originally projected. The Morning Consult group recently commissioned a survey of almost 2000 recipients to gauge their satisfaction with the program. (Medicaid Survey) 87% of beneficiaries said they are overall satisfied with their Medicaid coverage. The same number said they are happy with the cost (who wouldn’t be, since it is basically free) and 83% said they are satisfied with the benefits, and 88% expressed satisfaction with the drug benefits specifically. 83% also said they have acceptable access to providers and 82% liked their choice of doctors and specialists. While 60% have seen news stories regarding possible changes to Medicaid, 23% said the program is fine as is and 40% said it would need only minor changes. People covered by Medicaid managed care plans were slightly more positive than those in fee-for-service Medicaid. The only think somewhat surprising about the survey is the high level of satisfaction with access, given that many providers do not accept Medicaid patients. Given the richness of the benefits and the lack of any significant cost-sharing, it isn’t surprising that people covered by Medicaid are really happy. Taxpayers may have a different perspective.
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About this Blog
The Healthy Skeptic is a website about the health care system, and is written by Kevin Roche, who has many years of experience working in the health industry. Mr. Roche is available to assist health care companies through consulting arrangements through Roche Consulting, LLC and may be reached at [email protected].
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