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Medicaid’s Role in Advancing Health Equity

Chapter 6 addresses how to advance health equity in Medicaid, which has become a cross-cutting theme in MACPAC’s analyses. More than half of adults and two-thirds of children enrolled in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are beneficiaries of color. Health disparities have long existed for Medicaid beneficiaries of color, and the chapter provides the context for understanding these racial disparities and inequities.

The chapter discusses policy levers that states and the federal government can use to promote equity and lays the groundwork for future MACPAC work. Key areas in which Medicaid policy can advance health equity include collection and reporting of race and ethnicity data; the role of state leadership in prioritizing a health equity agenda; beneficiary engagement in the policymaking process; enrollment, redetermination, and renewal processes; delivery system levers, including managed care contracting, payment approaches, and quality strategies; and development of a diverse and culturally competent workforce.

Several key concepts offer a foundation for understanding health equity and assessing opportunities to improve equity in Medicaid. Many of these concepts are discussed in chapter 6 of MACPAC’s June 2022 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP.

From: June 2022 Report to Congress on Medicaid and CHIP