Medicaid offers nearly identical level of coverage
As health insurance in the U.S. continues to be a controversial issue, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, has released a new report concerning the much-debated Medicaid program. Under the Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010, states are required to expand the accessibility of their Medicaid programs. These states are meant to receive some degree of aid from the federal government, but many have opposed the notion of expanding their programs due to the high costs that would be associated with such action.
Report sheds light on Medicaid benefits
Medicaid is a program designed to provide health insurance to low income families. Because this demographic is considered to host a high level of financial risk, the policies offered by the Medicaid program have long been thought to be much less comprehensive than those that are offered by private insurance companies. According to the report from the Government Accountability Office, however, this is not the case. The report found that the policies offered through the Medicaid program provide almost identical benefits to those that are offered by private insurers.
Gaps between Medicaid and private coverage are modest
The report shows that a gap does exist between the benefits provided by Medicaid and those found in the private sector, but the gaps are modest in regards to medical care and prescribed medications. The largest gap exists in dental care, where Medicaid beneficiaries reported more difficulty in receiving necessary care and services. The report also notes that adults had difficulty finding doctors than children covered by the same Medicaid policies.
Report may encourage states to expand their Medicaid programs
The Government Accountability Office report suggests that it is more beneficial for consumers to receive health insurance coverage through the Medicaid program that to go uninsured. The report may help encourage some states to expand their Medicaid programs in order to provide access to health insurance to a wider range of consumers, thereby cutting down on the number of uninsured people there are in each state. Many states still suggest that expanding Medicaid would be a costly endeavor that could ruin their financial stability.