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J Health Polit Policy Law. 2015 Feb;40(1):227-32. doi: 10.1215/03616878-2854829. Epub 2014 Dec 5.

From coverage to care: addressing the issue of churn.

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Presbyterian Health Plan.


In any given year, a significant number of individuals will move between Medicaid and qualified health plans (QHP). Known as "churn," this movement could disrupt continuity of health care services, even when no gap in insurance coverage exists. The number of people who churn in any given year is significant, and they often are significant utilizers of health care services. They could experience disruption in care in several ways: (1) changing carrier; (2) changing provider because of network differences; (3) a disruption in ongoing services, even when the benefit is covered in both programs (e.g., surgery that has been authorized but not yet performed; ongoing prescription medications for chronic illness; or some but not all therapy or counseling sessions have been completed); and (4) the loss of coverage for a service that is not a covered benefit in the new program. Many strategies are available to states to reduce the disruption caused by churn. The specific option, intervention, and set of policies in a given state will depend on its context. Policy makers would benefit from an examination and discussion of these issues.


Maryland; Medicaid; churn; qualified health plan (QHP)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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