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Why Medicaid managed care is spreading

Stateline.org, June 1, 2011

One of the most controversial state health initiatives this year is a plan in Florida to cut Medicaid costs by dramatically expanding the use of managed care. Florida lawmakers voted to move all Medicaid enrollees in the state — more than 3 million people who are poor, elderly or disabled — to commercial managed care programs. Florida is not alone. At least a dozen other states are considering expanding managed care programs this year. That growth comes atop expansions in 20 states last year and 13 states the year before. Although most health care experts say managed care can improve care while lowering Medicaid costs, consumer advocates say states should proceed with caution.