Appointment Availability Improved After Mich. Medicaid Expansion
Medicaid beneficiaries in Michigan had a slightly easier time scheduling primary care appointments after the state expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act, according to a study published Wednesday in Health Affairs, the AP/Washington Times reports.
Michigan law requires Medicaid beneficiaries to see a doctor within three months of receiving coverage.
Some observers were concerned that primary care appointments would be difficult to schedule after so many more residents gained coverage.
Researchers from the University of Michigan's Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation posed as patients seeking appointments with either public or private insurance, both before and after the April 2014 expansion. They found that:
- 55% of providers contacted offered an appointment to Medicaid beneficiaries, up from 49% before the expansion; and
- 86% of clinics offered an appointment to people with private coverage, down from 88% before the expansion (AP/Washington Times, 7/22).
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