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Law Will Shift Demographics For Medicaid Toward Healthier Group, Study Finds – Capsules - The KHN Blog


Using statistics from theΒ National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the authors found that the group of newly eligible individuals is:

  • About 36 years old on average, compared with about 39 years old for the current enrollees.
  • Approximately 59 percent non-Hispanic white, compared with about 50 percent in the existing group.
  • Equally split between males and females, compared with about 67 percent female and 33 percent male in the current Medicaid population.
  • More likely to smoke and drink, but also more likely to have lower rates of obesity and diabetes.

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β€œIt’s really a game changer,” said Dr. Tammy Chang, a lead author of the report. β€œA lot of providers think of Medicaid as people who take a lot of time to see, who use a lot of resources.”

She said the stereotypes of the Medicaid population – high-risk, chronically ill – affect the way doctors and health care systems view treatment for these beneficiaries since the costs of those patients is often higher. A shift in the demographics could also mean a greater focus on prevention and family care, rather than chronic disease.

Seems like this is one of the main benefits of moving to the new system.

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