Graphic shows results from Gallup-Sharecare poll for people with Medicaid, Medicare and employer health insurance coverage; 2c x 6 inches; 96.3 mm x 152 mm;

AP Exclusive: Poor health and high expectations for Medicaid

December 07, 2017 - 2:29 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — People on Medicaid are more prone to smoke, struggle with depression and obesity, or rate their own health as fair or poor.

But that's not the whole story.

A new study suggests that low-income Medicaid recipients are also invested in their health, with 4 out of 5 saying they have a personal doctor, 3 out of 5 saying they eat healthy, and nearly half saying they exercise frequently.

Experts say the analysis for The Associated Press by the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index indicates that Medicaid could gain by putting more emphasis on prevention, as well as better coordination of care.

Similar strategies are already employed by many workplace health plans and by Medicare.

Call it Medicaid's health care challenge.

About 1 in 5 Americans are covered by the federal-state program.

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