Although most low-income families have the highest prevalence of health problems like smoking, depression, and obesity among others, a recent survey by Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index shows that majority in this group are motivated to improve.
In the study, 40 percent of those under Medicaid indicated their health as fair or poor compared to 11 percent of those under the workplace coverage. Medicaid recipients are also heavy investors in health. The study found that 4 out of 5 recipients have personal doctors, while 3 out of 5 indicated they had adopted healthy eating habits. Those who exercise to remain healthy are about 50 percent.
Medicaid is a program that was started by the federal and state governments with the aim of making health care services accessible to the low-income families and those with a disability. Currently, the program covers about 74 million people in this category. Although the program is funded by the both the federal and state governments, the latter determines who is eligible for the program. The beneficiaries must be Americans or have legal permanent residents in the country.
The Impact of Medicaid on the Health Care Sector
Medicaid has been found to be encouraging prevention rather than treatment. This is possibly the reason why most people under this program are optimistic despite their poor health conditions. Besides, the program promotes better coordination of care. As a result, most of the beneficiaries are ready to stick to a given treatment as they have trust with their doctors.
Kavita Patel, a physician who works at Brookings Institution as a policy maker has lauded the program for the significant impact it has had on families and the healthcare sector in general. He notes the program has been vital in helping patients with chronic diseases adopt practices that have helped in keeping them away from hospitalization. A lot of money which would have spent in hospitals has been saved due to the adoption of these healthy living habits.
One Medicaid beneficiary, Vickie Rose from Stuttgart, Arkansas was quoted saying the program has been vital in assisting her to quit smoking. She is determined to stop the habit she has practiced for several decades. The woman added that she sometimes travels long distances for smoking cessation meetings.
About the Survey
The findings of this survey were derived from the data that was collected between Jan. 2-Nov. 5 by the Gallup-Sharecare through telephone interviews. A total of 147,465 people aged over 18 years were interviewed. The sample was collected from all the states, Washington D.C. included.