More than one-fourth of Americans receive taxpayer-funded health coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to the latest federal estimates.
But that “free” coverage has a significant cost. Medicaid beneficiaries must wait longer for care than those with private insurance. A study from 2021 found that Medicaid patients waited 1.3 days longer than commercially insured ones for primary care.
According to another study, Medicaid beneficiaries were 1.6 times less likely to successfully schedule a primary care appointment than those with primary insurance—and 3.3 times less likely to secure an appointment with a specialist.