Increasing Health Care Access for Active-Duty Military

Article ID: 679652

Released: 16-Aug-2017 1:05 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: West Virginia University - Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Expert Pitch
  • Christopher Plein

Health benefits for active-duty military are often not enough. Families with special health care needs or disabilities often rely on health care outside of the military system—Medicaid.

Because Medicaid is a state and federal program, it varies across the 50 states. If an active-duty servicemember is transferred from one state to another, Medicaid eligibility is not transferrable. The family must reapply every time they move, and their health care services may not be available or covered in the same way. Some services are even in such high demand that they require waiting lists.

West Virginia University health policy expert Christopher Plein is working to improve access to health care coverage for military families. To make the process more seamless for military families moving across state borders, he believes the solution can be found within the military. As a part of the Military Families Learning Network, Plein’s research assesses issues surrounding military families’ access to health care and training the military community to understand Medicaid as it continues to evolve. He seeks to help the military evaluate their benefits and make recommendations for improvement.

Target audiences:

  • Active-duty military
  • Policymakers
  • Public officials
  • Health insurance providers
  • Health care providers


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