Findings demonstrate an urgent statewide need for increased awareness on the upcoming change to North Carolina’s Medicaid system
(Raleigh, N.C., June 9, 2021) Today, North Carolina for Better Medicaid (NCBM), a coalition of dedicated health care advocates from across North Carolina, released research from a statewide survey on the upcoming transition to Medicaid Managed Care. With this Thursday marking three weeks until the transformation, today’s research shows a vital need for more awareness before the July 1st change impacts millions of North Carolinians. However, once provided with baseline information and education on Managed Care, residents across the state strongly supported the transition and overwhelmingly approved of its focus on improving patient access and care.
The research, conducted for NCBM by APCO Insight, surveyed a representative sample of 1,000 North Carolina residents from across the state. Findings from this public survey show low awareness from North Carolinians on how the upcoming move to a Managed Care model will impact their lives, including increasing access to whole-person, high-quality health care and bringing savings to the state budget. NCBM found that prior to participating in the survey, 62% of respondents knew very little or nothing at all about the Medicaid transformation taking place July 1st, despite open enrollment occurring throughout March, April and May.
“With the well-being of North Carolinians at stake, and as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more critical than ever that we make sure all eligible individuals are aware of the importance of Medicaid Managed Care. The North Carolina Community Action Association (NCCAA) is proud to join NCBM in highlighting the ability of managed care to improve access to preventive health and wellness programs and incentivize providers to help patients achieve long-term health,” said Yvette Ruffin, Communications Director at the NCCAA.
While today’s research shows low awareness of the upcoming transformation, it simultaneously shows strong support for the potential benefits of a Medicaid Managed Care model. Seventy percent of survey participants had a positive impression when they learned of the transformation’s focus on improving access to preventive health and wellness programs, and 68% support its potential to drive down long-term health care costs. The research also found 67% of respondents had a positive impression of Medicaid Managed Care’s ability to improve access to care for North Carolina’s most vulnerable. NCBM saw similar levels of support from survey respondents across regions, gender, and education, with an especially high percent of Millennials (73%) and Black North Carolinians (73%) in favor of the transformation. There is also bi-partisan support for the transition to Managed Care with a majority of Democrats and a plurality of Republicans supporting transformation.
“We are thrilled to see strong statewide support from across the state for moving to Medicaid Managed Care. Over the past five years since Medicaid Managed Care passed, the need for this transformation has only grown, especially within our state’s most vulnerable populations. While encouraged by the support, we also see the need for statewide leaders to raise awareness of this transformation which will improve health care delivery in North Carolina while driving down long-term health costs,” said Susan Pettengill, VP of Healthy Living, YMCA of the Triangle.
Today’s research stems from NCBM’s mission to produce evidence-based research, serve as a trusted resource, and work with key stakeholders and decision-makers in North Carolina to raise awareness of the July 1st transformation. NCBM coalition members pledge to continue advocating and educating all North Carolinians about Medicaid Managed Care and encourage legislators and local organizations to participate as well. For more information on how to join NCBM or support its efforts, please visit northcarolinaforbettermedicaid.org
For more information on today’s research, or for media interested in speaking with coalition members on Medicaid Managed Care, please contact Alex Sopko at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-631-2927.
About North Carolina for Better Medicaid
North Carolina for Better Medicaid is a multi-stakeholder, consensus-based group of organizations committed to building a better Medicaid system that improves access, quality, outcomes and affordability in North Carolina. Our members include patient advocates, community-based organizations, health care leaders, health plans and others who are champions of Medicaid and Medicaid Managed Care. Current members include credible and diverse voices in healthcare including Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Mountain Projects Community Action Agency, I-CARE, Inc., the Economic Improvement Council, North Carolina Community Action Association, the North Carolina Black Alliance, the North Carolina Senior Living Association, the YMCA of the Triangle, NC Child, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Healthy Blue), and UnitedHealth Group, who are working to ensure a successful transition to Managed Care and improve health care in the state. Learn more at northcarolinaforbettermedicaid.org.
About APCO Insight
North Carolina for Better Medicaid’s survey was conducted by APCO Insight, the research, strategy and measurement consultancy of APCO Worldwide. The survey was conducted online from April 29th to May 4th, 2021 among 1,000 residents of North Carolina. The data were weighted by age, gender, race, and educational status to provide a representative sample of North Carolina residents. The survey has a margin of error of ±3.1.