Written by Alan Essig, Executive Director of Michigan Consumers for Healthcare
The news keeps getting better. According to a recent study, access to primary care providers actually increased in Michigan since the implementation of the expansion of Medicaid under the Healthy Michigan Program.
The University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation released a report that found appointment availability for new Medicaid patients increased from 49% to 55% before and after the implementation of Medicaid expansion. In addition the study found that wait times for new Medicaid recipients did not significantly increase before and after the expansion. This is more good news for a program that has helped close the coverage gap by insuring over 600,000 Michiganders. This program also helps to grow the Michigan’s healthcare infrastructure and the overall economy by bringing in over $206 million in general funds in 2014 alone.
As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Medicaid program this summer it is important to keep in mind the lives saved, quality of life improved, and bankruptcies avoided due to low and moderate income Michiganders having access to health insurance. Medicaid and specifically the Healthy Michigan program is something to be very proud of.