DMAS surveys new Medicaid enrollees
Virginia is the first state to conduct a baseline survey of new Medicaid expansion members.
At the one-year mark for Medicaid expansion in Virginia, the number of newly enrolled adults in Medicaid has nearly doubled from 200,100 to 370,000. And survey data from an online dashboard released Tuesday by the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) indicates that before gaining health coverage from Medicaid, nearly two-thirds of enrollees went without needed medical care, primarily due to costs.
Virginia is the first state to conduct a baseline survey of new members during its implementation of Medicaid expansion, DMAS Chief Deputy and Chief Health Economist Ellen Montz said. The DMAS evaluation includes analysis of health services data and a survey of 1,505 new members conducted by the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. The dashboard lists the results, documenting how newly enrolled Virginia adults are using their Medicaid coverage.
Since gaining Medicaid coverage, more than 80% of new members responding to the survey said they have used at least one medical service. More than 60% have had doctor appointments and about 67% have filled prescriptions, according to the survey. About 45,000 people have been treated for high blood pressure, 25,000 for diabetes, 22,000 for addiction services and 5,000 for cancer.
Other findings from the member survey include:
- More than two-thirds of respondents are either working, in school or retired; 37% reported having a health condition that prevents part- or full-time employment.
- Prior to enrolling in Medicaid, respondents reported going without needed health services, including 57% who went without primary care, 56% who were unable to afford prescriptions and 22% who went without mental health services.
- Prior to enrolling in Medicaid, survey respondents had a lower rate of reporting a doctor’s office as their usual source of care (47% versus 65% nationally) and a higher rate of reporting a hospital emergency department as their usual source of care (25% versus 1% nationally).