Medicaid Incentive Programs To Encourage Healthy Behavior Show Mixed Results To Date And Should Be Studied And Improved
ABSTRACT In September 2011 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awarded $85 million in grants to ten states to test financial incentive programs to encourage healthy behavior among Medicaid enrollees with chronic diseases. There is little published evidence about the effectiveness of such incentives within the Medicaid program. We evaluated the available research from three earlier Medicaid incentive programs and found mixed results. On the one hand, in Florida only about half of the $41.3 million in available credits was "claimed" by enrollees between 2006 and 2011. On the other, Idaho's incentive program was credited with improving the proportion of children who were up-to-date on well-child visits. Our findings suggest that Medicaid incentive programs should be designed so that enrollees can understand them and so that the incentives are attractive enough to motivate participation. Medicaid incentive programs also should be subject to rigorous evaluation to more clearly establish their effectiveness.
SourceAvailable from: Stacey Sigmon
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ABSTRACT: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) increased the maximum rewards that group health insurance plans (including employers who self-insure) may offer in their wellness programs, with the goal of incentivizing healthy behaviors such as weight loss among the obese and smoking cessation. In this essay, I describe the history and intention of such programs, and make the following three points: (1) In principle, incentivizing healthy behavior can reduce external costs and help people with time-inconsistent preferences stick to their resolutions; (2) there are problems with the design of this portion of the ACA that will limit its effectiveness in achieving these goals; and (3) financial rewards for healthy behaviors have a mixed record to date, and thus many practical design features need to be resolved to improve the effectiveness of such programs.Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 06/2014; 33(3). DOI:10.1002/pam.21767 · 0.93 Impact Factor
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