Health
12:02 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Who's happiest with their insurance? Medicaid recipients

A new survey by the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation (CHRT) finds Medicaid recipients are the happiest with their health insurance. 

65% of people with Medicaid insurance rated it as very good or excellent - compared to  54% with Medicare insurance. 

51% of people with employer-based insurance rated it as very good or excellent. 

The lowest number was among the individually-insured group - those are people who buy their own insurance.  Only 43% said it was very good or excellent.

Marianne Udow-Phillips is director of CHRT, a non-profit partnership between the University of Michigan and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan that advocates expanding health insurance access.

Most Medicaid recipients pay less than 5% of their income for the insurance, and it is comprehensive.  But Udow-Phillips says that's not the only reason they like it so much.

"The recipients are telling us they can get appointments with primary care physicians and with specialists," she says.  "That's a big change (from years past) and speaks very well about how good our Medicaid program  is in Michigan -- how well run it is."

Governor Rick Snyder is on a tour to try to drum up support for extending Medicaid to more people in Michigan under the Affordable Care Act.  That's an unpopular idea among key Republicans in the state legislature. 

The survey also found the people who buy their own insurance think it is too expensive, and doesn't cover enough services.  Udow-Phillips says that could change under the Affordable Care Act, as well.  The Act will require individual policies to be comprehensive, and many people will receive subsidies to help pay for it.

"It's really possible that the new system (under the Affordable Care Act) could be better," she says.  "It's not going to be without glitches -- but it could be better."