Apparently, not having continuous Medicaid coverage can land you in the hospital, according to a new study. The study, which looked at nearly five million Californians in a retrospective five-year span, found that people with coverage that wasn't continuous were three times more likely to end up in the hospital than those who maintained continuous coverage.
Over the course of the study, 62 percent of Medicaid recipients experienced a gap in coverage, and the ones that did were 3.6 times more likely to be hospitalized for chronic conditions.
Most who lost coverage were admitted within three months after the loss, and once in the hospital, most were able to qualify for Medicaid again. This raises questions about the cost-effectiveness of forcing recipients to go through the requalification process so frequently, since hospitalizations are more expensive than covering primary care visits over the corresponding period.
To learn more about the study:
- read this New York Times piece