Medicaid is an essential program that provides health services for millions of people who otherwise could not afford them. Medicaid improves health outcomes for recipients, improves their financial stability, provides access to potentially life-saving healthcare creates thousands of jobs that bolster our local economies, and helps reduce economic and racial disparities in health insurance and healthcare access. While Medicaid improves the health and lives of recipients and benefits the healthcare system and the US economy, Medicaid systems for enrollment, renewal/redetermination, and using Medicaid coverage needs improvement. All people who meet Medicaid eligibility criteria are guaranteed coverage. However, many who are eligible struggle to enroll in and maintain Medicaid coverage.
Barriers to obtaining and renewing coverage and accessing services often make it challenging and time-consuming to navigate the system. Many who successfully enrolled face further dissatisfaction and stress as Medicaid leaves their needs unaddressed. Research shows that Medicaid recipients experience many barriers to accessing quality healthcare. Between September 2022 and February 2023, three national networks -By the Center for Popular Democracy, Make the Road New York/States, and People’s Action Institute- surveyed 2,937 Medicaid recipients primarily in 14 states 8 to understand their experiences in applying for, renewing, and accessing services through Medicaid, as well as the impact that coverage has had on their lives.