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Which states offer the best Medicaid benefits?

The nation-wide health insurance programme provides support for those who may not be able to afford healthcare, but where can you get the best coverage?

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Which states offer the best Medicaid benefits?
LINDSAY DEDARIO REUTERS

Medicaid provides healthcare coverage for around 82 million people across the United States and has been expanded in most states by President Biden. The huge insurance programme is jointly funded by state and federal governments, and was introduced to provide coverage for those who could not otherwise afford health insurance.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia and all US territories offer Medicaid coverage to residents, but the exact terms of the coverage can vary greatly. Some states choose to add additional programmes to supplement the base model, while 12 states chose not to expand their programmes earlier this year, leaving milllions without coverage. 

The federally mandated services include:

  • Inpatient hospital services
  • EPSDT, for those younger than 21
  • FQHC services
  • Family planning services
  • Emergency and nonemergency medical transportation
  • Pregnancy-related services
  • Nursing facility care, for those aged 21 or older
  • Physician services
  • Home health

Which states are the best for Medicaid health insurance?

Different states are able to fund their Medicaid programmes to different levels so the quality and availability of coverage can vary. An analysis by WalletHub found that the five states who ranked highest on Medicaid spending were:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Minnesota
  3. California
  4. Vermont
  5. Rhode Island

However when it comes to the actual service on offer, the top five was very different. Healthcare Insider has compiled a full breakdown of the best places for Medicaid coverage, drawing together data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Kaiser Family Foundation; Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission; and Opportunity Insights.

The study combined 13 metrics across three categories: cost; access; and quality, to produce a score out of 100 for the programme in each state. Their research produced a top five states for Medicaid provision:

  1. Connecticut
  2. New York
  3. California
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Minnesota

The overall winner, Connecticut, was not the highest ranked in any of the three categories, but came out second-best in terms of both the cost of coverage and the breadth of access on offer. Second-placed New York was ranked the best for price but was placed lower for quality and access, seventh and eighth respectively.

In terms of the best quality on offer, Hawaii came out on top in the nation-wide study, scoring 0.16 higher than Connecticut. The top five best states in terms of Medicaid quality was completed by California, Massachusetts and Oregon.

At the other end of the scale South Dakota received the lowest overall score and was also ranked third-worst for access to coverage, for which neighbouring North Dakota finished bottom. In terms of the quality of the coverage it was Oklahoma who scored the worst with a score of just 2.94 out of a possible 33.33.