Medicaid provides health insurance coverage to tens of millions of low-income children, parents, seniors and people with disabilities. Unfortunately, Medicaid enrollment is like a leaky sieve; every year millions of people enroll, only to subsequently lose their coverage, despite still being eligible, because of inefficient and cumbersome paperwork requirements. The interruptions in coverage affect the continuity and effectiveness of health care received. Interruptions also impair quality monitoring and improvement activities because many Medicaid enrollees were not enrolled long enough to assess the quality of their care. The presumption is that people who have been enrolled for less than a year have not been exposed to enough care to measure quality or to experience health-promoting quality effects. Improving retention in Medicaid is a cost-effective way to reduce the number of uninsured people, make their health insurance coverage more secure, improve the measurement of health care quality, and ultimately improve people's health.
Ku, L., MacTaggart, P., Pervez, F., & Rosenbaum, S. (2009). Improving Medicaid's continuity of coverage and quality of care. Washington, D.C.: Association for Community Affiliated Plans.