Medicaid is an essential part of American health care. It provides access to and helps improve the health and financial security of millions of the most vulnerable Americans every day, including more than 2 million veterans, more than 40 million children, older adults, and people with disabilities. 88% of American voters say it’s important to have a strong, sustainable Medicaid program in the United States. This overwhelming support is due to the high-quality, innovative, and affordable care the program provides to those who need it most. Medicaid managed care allows for a more holistic approach to care by focusing on preventive care, improving health outcomes, and addressing social determinants of health.
Felipe Luna, a former enrollee, explains how Medicaid managed care allowed him and his family to get economically stable without worrying about medical care. Because he was a young parent, he was able to enroll in Medicaid managed care while finishing school. Medicaid managed care provided Felipe and his children high-quality health services and a safety net while he found sustainable employment.
Benefits such as home health care and personal assistant services help enrollees with disabilities lead full and happy lives. Enrollee Cherlnell Lane, a single mother with disabilities, shared how Medicaid managed care has allowed her to better care for herself and her son by offering help with home-making tasks, transportation, and personal assistant services. Cherlnell said she also appreciates that Medicaid managed care offers coverage for mental health services.
Brandi Bretthauer, an executive director at a disability non-profit in Iowa, shared how the organization and Medicaid managed care assisted a woman with intellectual disabilities after the death of her father, explaining, “we helped her find a home and ensured her daily living needs were met. Without Medicaid funding for services like Mosaic, ensuring a safe, secure, and loving environment for her wouldn’t be possible. She’s now thriving. She has new friends and lots of community connections,” Brandi said.
Chase Bearden, deputy executive director at the Coalition for Texans with Disabilities, noted how because of high-quality health care programs, the life expectancy of the disability community is increasing.
The difference between having high-quality, reliable health care and having no coverage can make a world of difference. Take it from Maryanne Dyer, a Medicaid managed care enrollee who was diagnosed with leukemia. She explains that because of the affordability and comprehensive coverage of Medicaid managed care, she didn’t have to worry about prescription drug costs and medical bills. Thanks to Medicaid managed care, she was able to solely focus on getting better.
For people who live in rural areas, accessing medical services comes with unique challenges. Kelli Soyer, senior policy advocate at Common Good Iowa, spoke about how Medicaid managed care increases access to care. She shared that “Iowa is a rural state, and for many rural Americans, Medicaid is the only source of health care coverage. For rural Iowans, Medicaid coverage provides important access to health care in their areas. This also helps strengthen the healthcare infrastructure within rural communities across the state.”
For Gene Rodgers, access to Medicaid managed care after his accident meant his disability wouldn’t prevent him from living a fulfilled life. Because of his Medicaid managed care plan, he has an in-home care giver so he can continue to live independently in his own home and community.
Medicaid managed care is an essential health care program, especially for our most vulnerable populations. Mary Nelle Trefz, an advocacy director at a nonprofit serving children in Iowa, said, “Medicaid is health insurance. And it helps ensure that a wide variety of our friends, family and community members can access the care that they need. About half of all Medicaid members are kids; people are surprised to learn that. Medicaid is health insurance that provides care to individuals with disabilities, to children with special health care needs, to pregnant women. There are so many different sectors of our community who benefit from the health care that Medicaid provides.”