Day 48 — Medicaid at 50: Phenomenal Women

Over the coming weeks this blog will highlight a key feature of Medicaid and the individual states that administer Medicaid and CHIP leading up the the program’s 50th anniversary (July 30th). Hopefully, you’ll learn some interesting facts about Medicaid and each of the 51 state programs.

As a major provider of both reproductive health and long term care, Medicaid plays an integral role in the lives of women across the lifespan (stay tuned for more on these topics). Medicaid is the insurance provider for 13% of women aged 19-64, plus 4 million more women in that age bracket became eligible in 2014 as a result of the Medicaid expansion. Furthermore, women make up 68% of dual eligibles (people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid) – 25% of women on Medicare over the age of 85 are also on Medicaid! Medicaid is especially important for older women of color.

percent-of-older-women-on-medicare-with-medicaid-coverage-by-age-and-raceethnicity-2009This is a numbers-heavy post, but the point is that Medicaid plays a big part in the lives of many American women, quite literally from birth to death. If you estimate that 12.6 million women 19-64 are on Medicaid, plus 6.1 million dual eligibles, and half of children on Medicaid, that’s more than 35 million ladies! And, one might make a case for extra credit considering that baby boys are also beneficiaries of good perinatal care…

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It’s worth noting that in addition to getting care, women play a powerhouse role in delivering it, too: This week, the Lancet Commission on Women and Health published a report which found that women’s work in health care amounts to $3.1 trillion, or nearly 5% of global GDP. Unfortunately, about half of that is uncompensated.

(Shoutout to the Kaiser Family Foundation for their facts and figures!)

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