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Thursday, July 25, 2013

A New Report Shows that Michigan Medicaid Beneficiaries Are Very Satisfied with Their Health Coverage

Amy Traver

Staff Writer

A new report by the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation in Michigan found that Medicaid beneficiaries in the state are very satisfied with their health coverage. As lawmakers in the state and across the country decide if they will take the opportunity under the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid coverage to more of their state residents, they should take into consideration this and other reports that show that Medicaid is good coverage.

The report released in early July by the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, in partnership with Michigan State University, shows new evidence that Michiganders already enrolled in Medicaid are very satisfied with their coverage. The report examines the results of a 2012 survey of Michigan residents regarding key issues related to health care coverage, access, and health status. One of the key findings was that Michiganders with Medicaid were more satisfied with their health coverage than those with job-based coverage or individual coverage: 65 percent of respondents with Medicaid rated their coverage as “excellent” or “very good,” compared to only 51 percent with job-based insurance and 43 percent with individually purchased coverage.

This study reaffirms and reflects what we already know about how Medicaid beneficiaries feel about Medicaid across the country: They like the coverage they have. Medicaid beneficiaries are more likely to have a regular source of care than those without insurance, and according to a report by Families USA, nationally, about the same number of adults in Medicaid and in private insurance plans report they “usually” or “always” get the care they think they need.

Currently, the Michigan legislature is still in the process of deciding whether or not to expand Medicaid to cover more Michiganders. Michigan Governor Snyder supports expansion. The Michigan House of Representatives passed legislation that would expand Medicaid. The issue is now with the Senate. The Senate formed a workgroup in late June to further study the issue and could vote on legislation by the end of August.

In Michigan and in other states that have not yet decided to expand Medicaid, it isn’t too late. States can opt into the Medicaid expansion at any time, but if they opt in earlier, the federal government will end up picking up more of the cost of the expansion. From 2014 through 2016, the federal government will pay for all the expansion costs. After 2016, federal funding will start decline, but it won’t go below 90 percent.

If your state hasn’t decided on a Medicaid expansion yet, contact members of your state’s legislature and tell them that you support expansion. You can find out how to contact them by searching the web for your local representative’s information or looking up the phone number for your state House of Representatives.