Medicaid used to be considered a life saver, and in many ways, it still is. Sadly, however, many Medicaid recipients are finding that obtaining specialized care, and in some cases, primary care, can be very difficult. Many doctors no longer accept Medicaid, and others have long waiting lists to accept new patients. Medical care should not have to be put on hold. Getting a private policy can ensure the best care overall.
Why are Doctors Refusing Medicaid Patients?
Medicaid isn’t what is used to be, and quite frankly, there is lower funding for Medicaid than in the past. Doctors cannot afford to treat patients on what Medicaid is willing to pay them. Finding a new doctor when the only insurance is Medicaid can be very difficult. It is no longer a matter of seeing the doctor you want, but seeing one of the few who will take Medicaid.
I Need a Specialist – Why the Long Wait?
Because there are fewer doctors accepting Medicaid, the remaining doctors have a huge caseload. Most people without another insurance plan can expect to wait weeks, or even months to see a specialist of any kind. Having another insurance helps get people into see the specialist much sooner and with a lot less hassle. Once someone is an established patient, using Medicaid is less of a problem.
Medicaid does not Guarantee Medical Services
Having a Medicaid card used to get a person in to see just about any doctor they needed. That is no longer the case. In fact, people who have only Medicaid often have to go without care, or with less care than those who have other insurance as well. The system is very taxed right now, and public programs such as Medicaid simply cannot afford quick, quality care.
More Problems Ahead for Medicaid
Things are not expected to get better any time soon. In fact, they are expected to get much worse. Medicaid is fast becoming the largest insurer in the United States. However, there are less and less monies being put into the system to handle the influx. The Congress predicts that the Medicaid Roles will increase from the current 56 million to 71 million by 2016. There is no word on where the money will come from yet.
The Benefits of Having Alternative Insurance
If nothing else, having a small insurance policy in addition to Medicaid will get people in the door. This is especially true when it comes to seeing specialists. New patients often have the hardest time being seen. Overall, it just makes good sense to have another insurance policy, even if it is a small one. The small premiums are well worth it when it comes to the peace of mind and faster medical care they provide.
Medicaid may be “free”, but it is far from being free from problems. There is more trouble ahead for those who rely solely on Medicaid for medical care. The elderly, women of childbearing age, and those with pre-existing and serious health problems will be the most effected.