Completion of Requirements in Iowa’s Medicaid Expansion Premium Disincentive Program, 2014-2015

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Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate rates of member compliance with Iowa’s Medicaid expansion premium disincentive program.

Methods

We used 2014 to 2015 Iowa Medicaid data to construct rolling 12-month cohorts of Wellness Plan and Marketplace Choice members (Iowa’s 2 Medicaid expansion waiver programs for individuals ≤ 100% and 101%-138% of the federal poverty level, respectively), calculated completion rates for required activities (i.e., wellness examinations and health risk assessments), and identified factors associated with program compliance.

Results

Overall, 18.5% of Wellness Plan and 12.5% of Marketplace Choice members completed both activities (P < .001). From 2014 to 2015, completion rates for both activities decreased for Wellness Plan members but increased for Marketplace Choice members. Members who were younger, male, or non-White were less likely to complete required activities.

Conclusions

Approximately 81% of Wellness Plan members and 87% of Marketplace Choice members failed to comply with program requirements and should have been subject to paying premiums the following year or face disenrollment. Disparities in completion rates may exacerbate disparities in insurance coverage and health outcomes.

Public Health Implications

As states consider establishing Medicaid premium disincentive programs, they should anticipate challenges to successful implementation.

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