But people with behavioral health conditions, including mental health disorders such as depression or addiction to alcohol or drugs, got an especially big boost in many health and work-related measures, the study shows. Half of the sample of Medicaid enrollees in the study had at least one such condition.
As more states embark on new Medicaid expansions, and others change eligibility for existing Medicaid expansion programs, the researchers say those with behavioral health conditions may have the most to gain or lose.
Paper - Journal - Psychiatric - Services - Team
In a new paper in the journal Psychiatric Services, a team from the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation documents the results from a survey of a representative sample of more than 4,000 adults at or near the poverty level who had coverage under the Healthy Michigan Plan -- Michigan's Medicaid expansion program -- for at least one year.
As a group, enrollees with behavioral health conditions were more likely to also have chronic physical illnesses, poor overall health and lower incomes, and were more likely to be unemployed, than those without.
Researchers - Respondents - Health - Employment - Time
When the researchers asked the respondents about their health and employment over the time since they'd enrolled in the Healthy Michigan Plan, a high percentage of both groups reported improvement. But the gains were larger for those with behavioral health conditions.
For instance, 51% of those with behavioral health conditions said their physical health had improved in their first year of coverage, and 45% said their mental health had improved, compared with 45% and 32% of those without behavioral health conditions.
Rates - Improvement - Health - Conditions - People
"These rates of improvement are encouraging, especially because behavioral health conditions can affect people's ability to maintain their physical health," says Renuka Tipirneni, M.D., M.Sc., the lead author of the new study and an assistant professor of internal medicine at Michigan Medicine, U-M's academic medical center.
Such conditions can also interfere...
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