More Problems for Medicaid Enrollees Under the Affordable Care Act

Numerous studies have found that Medicaid enrollees have more problems than privately insured individuals locating doctors who will treat them for the paltry fees state Medicaid programs pay. We’ve previously written about the deficiencies in Medicaid here. A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report  found that some Medicaid enrollees fare better than others. Recent Medicaid enrollees report having more problems accessing care than enrollees who have been enrolled longer. According to the GAO:

Beneficiaries with less than a full year of Medicaid coverage were almost twice as likely to report difficulties obtaining medical care as those with full-year coverage. Medicaid beneficiaries reported delaying care for reasons such as long wait times and lack of transportation.

This is not good news for the newly insured and those whose Medicaid eligibility changes often — groups the Affordable Care Act seeks to enroll.

Comments (4)

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  1. seyyed says:

    isn’t this partly due to the fact that doctors have started to refuse treating new Medicaid patients or have opted out of Medicare altogether?

  2. Poloa says:

    Are doctors not taking patients because of low Medicaid funding or because their are not enough doctors to support the medical network?

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    Medicaid pays doctors only about $0.59 cents for every $1 that insurers pay them for performing the same service. Depending on the medical practice, one-half to two-thirds of each dollar received, on average, goes towards office overhead and variable costs. Thus, doctors who can fill all their available appointment slots with patients better-paying patients will do so and avoid Medicaid patients if they can.

  4. Dr. Steve says:

    I am retired, but my guess is for those still in private, independent practice

    1. Low rates of pay while increasing practice costs
    2. Increased taxes next year so less incentive to work
    3. Office hours have already been trending down, will get worse
    4. Older docs will consider retirement if they can afford it.

    As more docs go to work for hospital corporations they will likely have more regular hours and even less incentive to go that extra measure.

    There is more, but why bother. The future is now and it is not good.