The Impact of Medicaid Cuts on Rural Communities
Medicaid is a critical program in both urban and rural areas, but it is particularly important in rural areas because of high levels of poverty and less access to employer-sponsored insurance. This study assesses the perception of state Medicaid staff and individuals from State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) and Rural Health Associations (RHA) regarding the impact on rural areas of state Medicaid policy changes that occurred between 2002 and 2004. Despite the importance of this program to rural communities, our study suggests that few people are specifically concerned with the unique challenges Medicaid changes may pose to rural communities. This study presents insight to the potential rural impact of Medicaid policy changes, especially those that could adversely affect the ability of rural residents to access services or that might potentially affect the overall rural health infrastructure.