Preventive care and wellness has become a buzzword in health care cost control as insurers promote these services to avoid more complicated and expensive treatments.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that people with Medicaid health insurance or a commercial plan have better access to health services and are receiving more preventive care than those who are not insured, according to a new report from American health insurance plans.
Adults are more than four times as likely, and children two to three times more likely to receive certain preventive care services than people without health insurance, the report said.
The study, which focuses on Medicaid, reports that those with Medicaid coverage have access to care and use of preventive services, comparable to Americans who have commercial insurance.
Those with Medicaid or commercial insurance were far more likely to get a routine check-up, take care of it as soon as it was needed, make an appointment, get their blood pressure and cholesterol checked and get a flu vaccine.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, more than 75 million Americans are currently covered by Medicaid and the Child Health Insurance Program. About 70 percent of Medicaid's entire enrollment will rely on private health plans for their Medicaid coverage, the report said.
Medicaid, which came into effect in 1
Medicaid provides health insurance for low-income individuals, families, children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities. In 2014, the Medicaid offering was extended by the Affordable Care Act to increase eligibility for parents and eliminate the exclusion of adults without dependent children.
Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia accepted the Medicaid extension, adding nearly 13 million people. Studies have shown that expansion in these countries has reduced the number of uninsured patients and thus the amount of non-compensated care for hospitals.
The AHIP study reports that over 43 percent of adults on Medicaid are in excellent or very good health, another 50 percent rate their health good or fair, and 6.3 percent say their health is poor.
Only 7.5 percent receive help in daily life, while 92.5 percent do not, according to data from the Medicaid Panel survey of Medicaid beneficiaries.
"This new evidence reinforces what insurance providers see every day – Medicaid works for patients and taxpayers," said Rhys Jones, AHIP Vice President of Medicaid Policy and Advocacy. "Medicaid is an important part of America's safety net and optimizes the use of every dollar invested in the program to ensure that those in greatest need of assistance receive the necessary care."
In a National Review report dated April 9, Nicholas Horton, the research director of the Government's Accountability Foundation, said the extension of Medicaid does not help adults, but full-fledged adults.
Horton referred to his March 6 report, in which he said that at least 21,904 persons have died on Medicaid waiting lists in states since the enlargement. Those on the waiting list are people with mental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and older people waiting for home and community-based care beyond Medicaid.
"Expansion states have decided to spend tens of billions of dollars on non-disabled adults instead of helping those on the waiting list," said Horton, who supports the work requirements for non-disabled adults.
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