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Access for adults covered by Medicaid

Medicaid plays an important role in providing health insurance to adults who would otherwise face considerable financial barriers to health care. Research has shown that adults who gain Medicaid coverage have higher rates of health service use and experience greater reductions in unmet health care needs due to financial barriers compared to uninsured adults.

MACPAC’s analyses have focused on experiences of adult Medicaid beneficiaries accessing and using health care services in comparison to those with private insurance and the uninsured. MACPAC’s analyses are conducted using national health survey data. The most recent analyses use data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), and Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS).

Results from the most recent analyses support other research in showing that adults with Medicaid coverage had higher rates of health care use for almost every measure compared to uninsured adults. For example, adults with Medicaid coverage were significantly more likely to have a usual source of care and to have used health care services in the past 12 months and less likely to have delayed needed care compared to uninsured adults. However, there are differences in experiences in accessing care between adults with Medicaid coverage and adults with private insurance. Adults with Medicaid coverage were significantly more likely to report not receiving or delaying medical care, prescriptions, and dental services compared to adults with private coverage. Additionally, they were less likely to report having dental insurance and having a dental visit in the past year compared to adults with private insurance.

Learn more about access to care for non-elderly adults:
MACPAC also includes exhibits on access measures in MACStats. Learn more by reviewing these MACStats tables: