One More Reason to Not Like Medicaid

Researchers at George Washington University looked at Medicaid “churn” — when beneficiaries move on and off the rolls because of small variations in income — and found that it leads to more hospitalizations and higher costs for patients. According to the study, a Medicaid beneficiary enrolled consistently for 12 months pays $333 in medical bills per month, on average. Patients enrolled for six months paid $469, and those enrolled for one month paid $625.

See more at The Hill.

Comments (15)

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  1. Studebaker says:

    This is news? Some people eligible for Medicaid don’t bother to enroll until they need care. Once treated, they have less incentive to re-enroll. The experiment in Massachusetts found this.

  2. Sam says:

    Interesting findings. Another reason for a major overhaul of our current health care system.

  3. Zeres says:

    I feel that when trying to understand health care through the lens of medicaid, we get a complex picture of health care. Lets get real, people who are on mediaid are usually on it due to low income and employment prospect, they don’t usually lead healthy life style to begin with. And so, determining how our nation will be affected by health care will not be as clear cut.

  4. Gatsby says:

    Medicaid is a joke. Good intentions, bad implementation.

  5. Abathur says:

    I think Zeres brings up a good point. Indeed, a segment of the medicaid population probably engage in very risky activities, making them turn up in the emergency room more often.

  6. Sam says:

    The problem here is that there are people who truly need the benefits from Medicaid and are responsible about it. It’s not all one sided and most welfare programs have issues distinguishing the irresponsible free-loaders from those who truly need the help.

  7. Deepak says:

    Do you think that may be getting off medicaid could be a cause for ending up in the emergency rooms. I am assuming this because while on Medicare, they might have some kind of access to healthcare, even though it isn’t on par with private insurance, but still better than noting.

  8. Kerrigan says:

    I agree with Sam’s point that yes, a portion of the people on medicaid are responsible, but for the portion that isn’t we need to target and discipline them effectively. I do think that you have to work to gain access to Medicare, if you work to get something, then you value it way more.

  9. Kerrigan says:

    Sorry I mean medicaid, you have to work to have access to medicaid. It is time we stop treating everything as an entitlement!

  10. Desai says:

    It will be interesting to see if people on food stamp use their disposable income (not food stamp) to buy alcohol.

  11. Jordan says:

    That’s actually an interesting point Desai. I would imagine the % of people willing to abuse social programs would roughly close across the board. Of course I wouldn’t care if people actually paid taxes.

  12. Roget says:

    They should implement a zero tolerance drug policy for Obamacare. Go in for treatment, blood gets screened for illegal drug use = stop all transfer payments.

  13. Erik says:

    Roget – it would be easier to publish the costs of all care and shame the industry into what most people refer to as the free market system. But we all know that does not really exist. so what to do? What to do? Shame poor people!!!

  14. Susan says:

    Many Medicaid eligible don’t enroll but are enrolled at point of care – so of course expenses will be higher for those less than 12 months as they are typically enrolled at a hospital (high cost event).

  15. CarolT says:

    Reading comprehension alert: Nobody on Medicaid could possibly afford to PAY $333 a month. Read the report again: It says that they COST that much. As in, cost the taxpayers.

    And, the authors didn’t perceive the obvious reason for the higher cost of broken coverage, namely that people concentrated their health care efforts during the period when they had Medicaid coverage for it.