States struggle to entice Medicaid enrollees to participate in incentive programs

Iowa, New Mexico and nearly a dozen other states now offer incentives to Medicaid beneficiaries to help them make healthier decisions and, in turn, save the program money, reported Kaiser Health News. However, because a majority of Medicaid beneficiaries are more likely to smoke and less likely to access preventive care, enticing them to participate in incentive programs can be challenging. For instance, an Idaho program that offered a $100 voucher to Medicaid participants to lose weight or quit smoking attracted fewer than 2 percent of eligible adults after two years. Elsewhere, Connecticut enrolled only half of the projected 6,000 participants it hoped to sign up for a smoking cessation program. Article