New Report Highlights the Impact of Medicaid on Rhode Islanders

The Economic Progress Institute released a report examining the impact of Medicaid for Rhode Islanders and the economy.

The report titled “Medicaid Matters in Rhode Island 2018”provides information about the Medicaid program in the state and includes stories from Rhode Islanders who are granted access to healthcare through Medicaid.

“We published this report to help policymakers and the public have a better understanding of the Medicaid program which is the largest source of federal funds in our state budget and a significant investment of state general revenue dollars. We hope readers will see the benefit of this state investment by absorbing the stories that beneficiaries share in the report, learning about the different populations of Rhode Islanders for whom Medicaid is a lifeline, and realizing the ways that Medicaid dollars support our health care infrastructure, our economy, and our cities and towns,” said Linda Katz, Policy Director.

The Report 

According to the report, Medicaid provides access to health care and long-term care services as needed to 153,000 low-income children, parents and pregnant women through the RIte Care program.

“Proposed cuts to Medicaid in this year’s budget and the continued threat to Medicaid at the federal level make this report timely and relevant. Talking to so many different people to collect stories and reading the data presented in this report underscores how vital the Medicaid program is to the health of our residents and our state. “We must work together to ensure that our state continues to make necessary investments and that the federal government remains a strong partner in meeting the healthcare needs of all Rhode Islanders,” said Karen Malcolm, organizer for the Protect Our Health Care Coalition.

Thirty-two thousand adults with disabilities, 19,000 seniors, and 12,000 children with special health care needs are also enrolled.

In January of 2014, Rhode Island opened the Medicaid door to low-income adults without children, as authorized under the Affordable Care Act. Over 65,000 adults gained coverage as a result.