Icario/Harris Poll Data Finds Nearly a Quarter of Medicaid Members Don’t Have Access to Food Support Programs

Another 20% of Members Say They Aren’t Sure if Their Plan Offers Such Programs

MINNEAPOLIS, May 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Icario, the healthcare industry’s leading health action company, today revealed new data collected in an online survey by The Harris Poll among over 4,000 Americans and over 500 Medicaid members exclusively for Icario that examines food insecurity and Americans' barriers in accessing healthcare services. The data found that nearly 44% of Medicaid members either don't have access to food support programs they need through their plan (23%) or are not sure if they do (20%).

The survey also revealed a food support gender disparity among Medicaid members, with 50% of male Medicaid members saying they have access to food support through their insurance plan, while just 39% of female members say the same. Food access has been particularly challenging during COVID-19—data from Kaiser Family Foundation found that 23% of Medicaid adults reported food insufficiency during the pandemic.

“Our latest research shows there is a massive opportunity for Medicaid plans to do better from a communication standpoint when it comes to educating members about the food support programs available to them,” said Sara Ratner, Senior Vice President of Government Markets and Strategic Initiatives at Icario. “The data reinforces how it is universally more difficult for Medicaid members to access programs and services, but improved engagement strategies can help minimize some of the population's challenges.”
Among other findings: 61% of Medicaid members cite technology as a barrier to care access, compared to 44% of those with employer-sponsored health plans and 47% of those with Medicare. Additionally, Medicaid members who have children and/or are married face even more significant barriers to care, including cost, provider access, transportation and language.

“Medicaid members face a variety of disparities, and the challenge for health plans is to help individual members close those gaps,” said Steve Wigginton, CEO of Icario. “Leveraging our platform and multi-channel approach, health plans can identify member needs, communicate value-added benefits in real-time and improve the overall experience and health outcomes of their members.”

For more findings from the Icario/Harris Poll data and to learn more about how Medicaid plans can get their members the healthcare and services they need, view this on-demand webinar from Icario and the Association For Community Affiliated Plans.

Survey Method:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Icario from March 30-April 5, 2021 among 4,148 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 585 are Medicaid subscribers. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact BOCA Communications, icario@bocacommunications.com.

About Icario
Icario is the leading health action company focused on connecting people to health. Icario uses pioneering behavioral research, data science and our adaptive multi-channel platform to deliver personalization at scale for the most trusted healthcare organizations in all 50 states, including seven of the 10 largest health plans. Learn more at www.icariohealth.com.

About The Harris Poll
The Harris Poll is one of the longest-running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963 that is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. We work with clients in three primary areas; building twenty-first-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible. To learn more, please visit www.theharrispoll.com.

BOCA Communications for Icario