Poll: Medicaid recipients report poorest health

By Daniel Uria  |  Dec. 7, 2017 at 8:24 PM
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Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Adults in the United States who receive healthcare through Medicaid are in worse health than those with other forms of insurance, a Gallup poll released Thursday indicated.

Thirty percent of Medicaid recipients reported "excellent" or "very good" health, while 40 percent reported their health as "fair" or "poor." In contrast, 59 percent of people receiving employer- or union-based insurance reported good health along with 51 percent of people receiving military or veteran's health insurance.

Fifty-two percent of people who receive healthcare from some other source reported good health and the uninsured were mostly in good health at 33 percent.

Medicaid recipients reported the highest incidence of chronic health conditions compared with all other groups among adults not covered by Medicare.

Thirty-six percent of Medicaid recipients reported being obese, while 25 percent have depression.

A total of 17 percent of people on Medicaid are likely to have high cholesterol, matched only by those with military or veteran's insurance.

Medicaid is designed for individuals with disabilities and those in lower-income households who cannot obtain health insurance elsewhere. Sixty-three percent of those insured by Medicaid report a household income of less than $36,000 annually, according to Gallup.

Prior Gallup research has shown a link between poverty and poor healthcare.

Medicaid recipients also reported being most likely to smoke at 36 percent, followed by the uninsured at 31 percent.

The poll also showed that Medicaid recipients were about as likely as others to report healthy behaviors such as exercising frequently and eating healthy.

The poll was conducted between Jan. 2 and Nov. 5 and included interviews of 147,465 U.S. adults aged 18 and older.

There was a 1 percent margin of error for the total sample of respondents, 1.6 percent margin of error for Medicaid recipients and 1 percent margin of error for uninsured adults

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