Finding Innovation In Medicaid Managed Care

posted by AHIP

on August 22, 2018

Nearly 75 million Americans—including half of America’s children and 2 million veterans—depend on Medicaid.

As state governments look for innovative ways to serve a growing Medicaid population, some states partner with private health insurance providers to administer Medicaid in the state and cover all the costs associated with delivering this care. These Medicaid managed care plans address the mental, physical, and social needs of more than 55 million Americans. This may include innovative programs to treat substance abuse, transportation to appointments, or support to help expectant mothers have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Medicaid managed care plans realize that addressing health means more than just making a health care professional available to a patient—it means partnering with community organizations to address social needs.


One plan in Pennsylvania, Health Partners, realized that children in poor neighborhoods were often far from a dentist and didn’t have reliable transportation options. As a result, they created Chopper Check. A partnership with St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children, Chopper Check brings a fully equipped mobile dental clinic—the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile van—to low-income communities so children can have their teeth checked and treated at no cost, in their own neighborhood.

Across the country in California, Health Net offers Medi-Cal members a free program, Fit Families for Life, to help reduce obesity and keep their entire family fit.  Through its work with Medicaid beneficiaries, Health Net learned that family dynamics determine when and how people exercise and eat. Busy parents often don’t have time to go to the gym regularly, or they may not know how to read food labels or how to cook healthy meals. Fit Families for Life offers a combination of family-oriented exercise and education to improve the health of the whole family.

Medicaid is a safety net and is there for us when we need it. And Medicaid health plans are constantly innovating and experimenting to find programs that work to make Americans healthier and to save taxpayers money.

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