Medicaid and CHIP Receive High Satisfaction Scores in CMS Survey
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have released the findings of a survey of over 1,900 low-income families which show that two public health insurance options, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are meeting the needs of those they serve.
The report, entitled “Parents’ Views of CHIP and Medicaid: Snapshot of Findings From a Survey of Low-Income Parents,” contains data from survey questions from 1,936 parents of children under the age of 19 whose household income is below 250% of the federal poverty level. The survey, conducted by Prime:Ketchum for CMS between April 22 and June 10, 2011, included parents with all current health insurance options, including Medicaid, CHIP or employer coverage as well as parents of children who were uninsured.
The survey was conducted to examine low-income parents’ experiences about their health insurance coverage as well as evaluate awareness and knowledge levels about Medicaid and CHIP, two public health insurance options for children in low-income households.
Seven in ten had positive views of Medicaid and CHIP, with 36% and 41% (respectively) saying that the programs were “very good”. More families were satisfied with Medicaid and CHIP than were satisfied with employer coverage – 66% versus 48%. One notable positive area of comments finds that families were more satisfied with quality and access to care on the public health options than with their options on employer coverage.
“These results show how Medicaid and CHIP are making a positive difference in providing high quality care and peace of mind for families,” said CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D.
One area that was brought out as a negative, however, continues to be barriers to enrollment for Medicaid and CHIP. There is a perception among the parents surveyed that the enrollment process is difficult.
Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP services, says, “We continue to work on streamlining the enrollment process and on providing families a variety of ways they can apply for Medicaid and CHIP coverage. A growing number of states are offering online applications, which parents say they want. CMS is supporting efforts to create and refine online applications so that we can offer the best customer service possible.”
The Affordable Care Act also contains provisions designed to expand and improve Medicaid and CHIP. Children will be eligible for either Medicaid or CHIP at higher income levels based on eligibility standards already in effect in their state. Also, new rules will help to provide significant federal funding for states to fill gaps in coverage for low-income people and will establish a greater degree of coordination between Medicaid, CHIP and the new Affordable Insurance Exchanges.
The full results of the survey can be found at InsureKidsNow.gov.