A Look at Navigating the Health Care System: Medicaid Consumer Perspectives


This transient gauges Medicaid enrollees’ views on their medical health insurance, in accordance with findings from KFF’s Survey of Client Reviews with Well being Insurance coverage, fielded February 21 thru March 14, 2023. Importantly, other people lined through various kinds of insurance coverage have other ranges of source of revenue, schooling, and well being standing, which might have an effect on their studies and perspectives. Adults with Medicaid are much more likely to be more youthful, feminine and to have decrease earning. They’re additionally much more likely to explain their well being as “truthful” or “deficient” than the ones with different protection. Medicaid additionally has restricted or negligible premiums and out-of-pocket prices, which might have an effect on the forms of issues enrollees face. This transient supplies an outline of the survey findings, describes Medicaid enrollees’ perspectives in their well being and well being protection, explores issues the ones with Medicaid enjoy, compares how Medicaid plays relative to Medicare and personal protection, and opinions variation in Medicaid studies. Key take-aways come with the next:

  • Medicaid enrollees record worse well being standing in comparison to the ones with different protection, which might result in larger want for well being care and extra alternatives to come upon issues of the gadget. Nonetheless, the huge majority (83%) of Medicaid enrollees charge the whole efficiency of Medicaid undoubtedly. Then again, over part of Medicaid enrollees record having skilled an issue up to now 12 months, and relative to Medicare and employer-sponsored insurance coverage (ESI), Medicaid enrollees are much more likely to record positive unfavorable results from insurance coverage issues.
  • Medicaid enrollees record fewer cost-related issues relative to these with Market protection and ESI; on the other hand, Medicaid enrollees record extra issues of prior authorization and supplier availability in comparison to other people with different insurance coverage sorts.
  • Throughout racial and ethnic teams, maximum enrollees charge their Medicaid protection undoubtedly, with White Medicaid enrollees the perhaps to explain their insurance coverage as “very good.” Identical stocks of enrollees amongst all racial and ethnic teams record experiencing issues of their protection. Very similar to the studies of other people with different protection, Medicaid enrollees who make the most of extra well being care products and services enjoy extra issues of their insurance coverage.

Proposed federal regulations associated with Medicaid get right of entry to and prior authorization which can be pending goal to handle one of the issues confronted through Medicaid enrollees.

How do Medicaid enrollees view their well being and well being protection?

The next percentage of Medicaid enrollees charge their well being standing as truthful or deficient relative to adults with different protection. About one-third (32%) of the ones with Medicaid describe their bodily well being standing as “truthful” or “deficient.” Over a 3rd (36%) of Medicaid enrollees record “truthful” or “deficient” psychological well being, a charge a lot upper than Market enrollees (20%) and over double the velocity of the ones with Medicare or employer-sponsored insurance coverage (ESI).

In spite of worse well being standing – which might result in larger want for well being care and extra alternatives to come upon issues of the gadget – the huge majority (83%) of Medicaid enrollees charge the whole efficiency in their present medical health insurance as both “very good” or “excellent.” This certain score is very similar to scores amongst the ones with ESI (85%), less than the ones with Medicare (91%) and better than the ones with Market protection (73%).

Although maximum enrollees view their insurance coverage undoubtedly, over part record having skilled an issue up to now 12 months.  The percentage of the ones with Medicaid reporting any drawback with their insurance coverage (58%) is very similar to the ones with ESI (60%) and Market protection (56%), and better than the ones with Medicare (51%). Regardless that majorities throughout insurance coverage sorts record no less than some drawback with their insurance coverage, the character of issues other people enjoy differs throughout well being protection sorts. As an example, the ones with personal protection are much more likely to enjoy cost-related problems whilst the ones on Medicaid are much more likely to record issues of prior authorization and supplier availability.

Relative to adults with Medicare and ESI, Medicaid enrollees are much more likely to record positive unfavorable results from insurance coverage issues.  As an example, Medicaid enrollees are much more likely to record experiencing a decline in well being (23%) and being not able to obtain advisable remedy (26%) on account of an issue that they had with their insurance coverage. Medicaid enrollees’ studies on those measures are very similar to the ones with Market protection. Then again, Medicaid enrollees are much less most probably than the ones with different insurance coverage sorts to record having to pay greater than anticipated for remedy or products and services (12%).

In what tactics do Medicaid enrollees view their protection extra favorably in comparison to perspectives of the ones with different protection?

Medicaid enrollees are much less more likely to record cost-related issues than the ones with Market protection and ESI, however as more likely to record those issues as the ones with Medicare.  Smaller stocks of adults with Medicaid (11%) say their insurance coverage paid not up to they anticipated for a scientific invoice, in comparison to the ones with personal protection (ESI 35%, Market 28%). In a similar way, Medicaid enrollees are much less more likely to record that insurance coverage paid not anything at fascinated by a provider they idea was once lined (12%) in comparison to the ones with personal protection (ESI 21%, Market 20%). Smaller stocks of adults with Medicaid record delaying a talk over with to the physician’s place of job up to now 12 months because of charge (10%) than the ones with ESI (17%) or Market plans (18%).  Enrollees with Marketplace and ESI plans can face important charge sharing within the type of prime deductibles, prime out-of-pocket limits, and coinsurance or copay necessities. For the reason that Medicaid enrollees have low earning, federal rules most often have protections to restrict out-of-pocket prices that may lend a hand strengthen get right of entry to.

Medicaid enrollees are much more likely to record having an more uncomplicated time working out portions in their insurance plans than privately insured adults. Over seven in ten (73%) Medicaid enrollees in comparison to over six in ten (62%) of the ones with Market plans and 65% of the ones with ESI say they in finding it simple to grasp statements explaining whether or not or how a lot insurance coverage can pay for care; those statements are known as Rationalization of Advantages, or EOBs. Moreover, greater than 8 in ten Medicaid enrollees describe working out what they might owe out-of-pocket as simple, a miles upper percentage than the ones with ESI (66%) or Market protection (59%). About seven in ten Medicaid enrollees simply perceive what their insurance coverage does and does no longer quilt, whilst smaller stocks of adults lined in Market plans (54%) or ESI (60%) cite identical ease. Medicaid enrollees additionally record having an more uncomplicated time working out explicit phrases, similar to “deductible,” “coinsurance,” “prior authorization,” or “allowed quantity” than the ones with personal insurance coverage. This comparative ease in working out through Medicaid enrollees could also be a results of restricted out-of-pocket prices for Medicaid plans resulting in a more effective plan design.

Even supposing a majority of Medicaid enrollees are unaware they have got a proper to attraction insurance coverage choices, Medicaid enrollees are much more likely to concentrate on those attraction rights than those that are privately insured. Lower than part of Medicaid enrollees (45%) record being acutely aware of their criminal proper to attraction to a central authority company or an impartial scientific knowledgeable if their medical health insurance refuses to hide scientific products and services they believe they want, with maximum both incorrectly pronouncing they don’t have attraction rights (7%) or pronouncing they aren’t positive if it is a proper they have got (48%). Then again, Medicaid enrollees have the next consciousness in their proper to an attraction than those that are privately insured, with 34% of the ones with ESI or Market protection reporting they’re acutely aware of their proper to attraction insurance coverage choices.

In what tactics do Medicaid enrollees view their protection much less favorably in comparison to perspectives of the ones with different protection?

Medicaid enrollees are much more likely to record issues of prior authorization. About one in 5 adults with Medicaid (22%) record that their medical health insurance denied or behind schedule prior popularity of a remedy, provider, talk over with, or drug earlier than they gained it, which is double the velocity of adults with Medicare (11%). Customers with prior authorization issues tend to face different insurance coverage issues and are a ways much more likely to enjoy critical well being and fiscal penalties in comparison to other people whose issues didn’t contain prior authorization.

Medicaid enrollees have been additionally much more likely to have issues discovering suppliers to be had to take care of them. One in 3 Medicaid enrollees record that a health care provider lined through their insurance coverage who they had to see didn’t have to be had appointments, the easiest percentage of any protection crew. Just about one in 5 adults with Medicaid additionally record that a health care provider or medical institution they wanted was once no longer lined through their insurance coverage, the next percentage than adults with Medicare (9%) or ESI (13%) and a identical percentage to adults with Market plans (20%). General, adults with Medicaid are much more likely than adults with every other insurance coverage sort to record receiving care within the emergency room, with Medicaid enrollees two times as more likely to record receiving care within the emergency room in comparison to the ones with ESI or Market protection.  Upper emergency room usage could also be because of obstacles in gaining access to suppliers in addition to a number of other factors, together with upper illness burden and minimum charge sharing necessities for emergency room care.

Whilst a large body of research presentations that Medicaid beneficiaries have considerably higher get right of entry to to care than people who find themselves uninsured, decrease supplier fee and participation charges might give a contribution to findings that Medicaid enrollees enjoy more difficulty obtaining health care than the ones with personal insurance coverage. In 2021, MACPAC found physicians have been much less more likely to settle for new Medicaid sufferers in comparison to different payers, however charges might range through state, supplier sort, and surroundings. Acceptance of latest Medicaid sufferers was once a lot upper the place physicians practiced in neighborhood well being facilities, psychological well being facilities, non-federal govt clinics, and circle of relatives clinics in comparison to the typical for all settings.

Whilst the vast majority of Medicaid enrollees charge the standard of to be had suppliers undoubtedly, Medicaid enrollees are much less most probably to take action relative to people with different insurance coverage sorts. General, greater than two in 3 Medicaid enrollees (69%) record certain perceptions of supplier high quality. Then again, adults with Medicare, Market, and ESI all exceed Medicaid enrollees in pride supplier high quality pride, with 90% of Medicare adults, 78% of Market adults, and 84% of ESI adults score the standard of suppliers as “excellent” or “very good.”

Medicaid enrollees record problems with availability and high quality for psychological well being suppliers. Adults with Medicaid and Market protection are much more likely than the ones with ESI or Medicare to negatively charge their insurance coverage in relation to the provision of psychological well being suppliers. Medicaid enrollees extra continuously record “truthful” or “deficient” psychological well being and might, due to this fact, have a better want for psychological well being suppliers than adults with different protection. When taking a look in particular at adults with Medicaid who describe their very own psychological well being as “truthful” or “deficient,” notable stocks give their plan a unfavorable score for the provision (47%) and high quality (41%) of psychological well being therapists and pros.

The place is there important variation inside of Medicaid?

Few enrollees throughout racial and ethnic teams record their Medicaid protection as truthful or deficient, with a big percentage of White Medicaid enrollees describing their insurance coverage as very good. Throughout all racial and ethnic teams, 85% or extra of enrollees charge their Medicaid undoubtedly. White adults are the perhaps to check with their insurance coverage as “very good,” with greater than 4 in 10 White adults (44%) describing their Medicaid protection this manner in comparison to 34% of Hispanic adults and 29% of Black adults. Greater stocks of White Medicaid enrollees in comparison to Black or Hispanic enrollees additionally record the standard of docs and hospitals to be had to them as “very good.” Significantly, for issues continuously confronted through Medicaid enrollees, similar to prior authorization or supplier availability, identical stocks of Black, White, and Hispanic adults record experiencing those problems.

Amongst the ones with Medicaid, Black adults are the perhaps to have gained care in an emergency room once or more up to now 12 months. Just about six in ten Black Medicaid enrollees record receiving care in an emergency room up to now 12 months, in comparison to about 4 in ten White and Hispanic Medicaid enrollees. As famous above, adults with Medicaid are much more likely than adults with every other insurance coverage sort to record receiving care within the emergency room.

Now not strangely, Medicaid enrollees who make the most of extra well being care products and services enjoy extra issues of their insurance coverage. Across all insurance types, adults with truthful or deficient well being standing – who’ve larger want for well being care – are much more likely to stand issues similar to loss of appointment availability and prime prescription drug prices. Along with well being standing, those that have extra widespread interactions with their medical health insurance also are much more likely to record issues. When evaluating Medicaid enrollees who had over ten visits up to now three hundred and sixty five days to enrollees who had two or fewer visits, prime well being care utilizers are a lot more more likely to have skilled an issue with their medical health insurance than decrease customers. Upper stocks of reasonable well being care utilizers (those that had observed a supplier between 3 to 10 instances up to now three hundred and sixty five days) additionally tended to stand issues of their insurance coverage in comparison to low utilizers. Those prime and reasonable well being care utilizers are much more likely to record that a health care provider they had to see didn’t have to be had appointments, {that a} psychological well being therapist, remedy, or prescription was once no longer lined through their insurance coverage, or that their medical health insurance didn’t quilt or required an excessively prime copay for a prescription drug. In comparison to each reasonable and coffee well being care utilizers, prime utilizers are much more likely to record operating into prior authorization problems or attaining the restrict at the selection of visits or products and services their insurance coverage would pay for a selected sickness or damage.

What to Watch

Fresh federal proposed regulations try to deal with some problems associated with availability of suppliers and get right of entry to in Medicaid. On April 27, 2023, the Biden Management launched two notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) to lend a hand make sure get right of entry to to high quality well being care in Medicaid and the Kids’s Well being Insurance coverage Program (CHIP). The proposed regulations come with adjustments to create Clinical Care Advisory Committees (to permit for extra significant engagement from Medicaid enrollees), build up transparency for fee-for-service (FFS) and controlled care bills, determine nationwide most appointment wait time requirements for controlled care enrollees, and require state tracking associated with get right of entry to and community adequacy for controlled care plans. Recently, federal law requires Medicaid controlled care plans to guarantee that they have got capability to serve anticipated enrollment of their provider house and care for a enough quantity, combine, and geographic distribution of suppliers however there aren’t any uniform requirements.

Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Services and products (CMS) proposed regulations, Administrative center of the Inspector Common (OIG) suggestions, and state regulation may lend a hand to handle Medicaid prior authorization problems. Prior authorization is a device lengthy used to keep watch over spending and advertise charge efficient care, however it could additionally lengthen care and lead to unfavorable medical results. A recent review through the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Services and products OIG discovered that during 2019, Medicaid MCOs had an general prior authorization denial charge of 12.5% – greater than double the Medicare Benefit charge. The OIG advisable more potent state tracking of denials and a demand for automated exterior scientific opinions following MCO attraction denials. In December of 2022, the Biden Management additionally proposed prior authorization regulations that may follow to Medicaid and different protection sorts, however those regulations center of attention most commonly on streamlining processes, bettering transparency, and lowering approval wait instances. Whilst CMS has no longer but finalized those proposed prior authorization regulations, a last rule could also be printed quickly.

A spread of state regulatory movements have additionally concerned about prior authorization practices. New state rules or updates to current ones affecting prior authorization for Medicaid enrollees have handed in states similar to Georgia, Illinois, and Washington state. State necessities come with: new reporting on prior authorization requirements and claims denials, shortened time frames for decision-making, permitting positive suppliers to circumvent prior authorization to restrict delays (e.g. “gold carding”), and restrictions on the usage of medical standards advanced through insurers to make protection choices. California has additionally not too long ago started enjoyable prior authorization necessities for diabetes take care of Medi-Cal participants.

Conclusion

General, maximum adults charge their insurance plans favorably however the complex nature of well being care and variations in insurance coverage design and out-of-pocket prices result in permutations in beneficiary studies. In comparison to adults with personal protection or Medicare, Medicaid enrollees are much more likely to stand issues of supplier availability and prior authorization and are at larger chance of experiencing unfavorable results because of issues of their insurance coverage, together with a decline of their well being. Then again, on account of federal regulations that restrict out-of-pocket prices, Medicaid enrollees are much less more likely to record cost-related issues or problem working out what they might owe out of pocket. Pending federal regulations addressing supplier availability for Medicaid controlled care enrollees might strengthen get right of entry to to take care of those enrollees. Proposed rules from the Biden management might streamline prior authorization processes and affect wait instances however fall in need of OIG suggestions for more potent state tracking of denials and required automated exterior scientific opinions.

This paintings was once supported partly through the Robert Wooden Johnson Basis. KFF maintains complete editorial keep watch over over all of its coverage research, polling, and journalism actions.

This KFF Survey of Client Reviews with Well being Insurance coverage was once designed and analyzed through researchers at KFF. The survey was once designed to succeed in a consultant pattern of insured adults within the U.S. The survey was once performed February 21–March 14, 2023, on-line and through phone amongst a nationally consultant pattern of three,605 U.S. adults who’ve employer subsidized insurance coverage (978), Medicaid (815), Medicare (885), Market plans (880), or a Army plan (47). The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2 proportion issues for the overall pattern and plus or minus 5 proportion issues for adults with Medicaid as their primary supply of well being protection.

The pattern comprises 2,595 insured adults reached during the SSRS Opinion Panel both on-line or over the telephone (n=75 in Spanish). Some other 504 respondents have been reached on-line during the Ipsos Wisdom Panel. Some other 289 (n=10 in Spanish) interviews have been performed from a random digit dial (RDD) of pay as you go mobile phone numbers (n=190) and landline phone numbers (n=99). An extra 217 respondents have been reached through calling again respondents who stated they have been insured in earlier KFF probability-based polls.

Respondents have been weighted one after the other to compare each and every crew’s demographics the use of information from the 2021 American Neighborhood Survey (ACS). Weighting parameters incorporated gender, age, schooling, race/ethnicity, and area.

For complete main points at the survey technique, see the Technique tab of the KFF Survey of Consumer Experiences with Health Insurance.



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