The global handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the communities disproportionately impacted has highlighted the lack of intergenerational public health solutions crafted to address the healthcare needs of the entire family. People of color have accounted for the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. For reasons related to COVID-19 or not, there are families with multiple generations living in the same household. Family members often have to serve as caregivers or babysitters instead of working outside of the home.
The Medicaid program is critical for intergenerational care and makes it possible for people and families who struggle to make ends meet to get the care they need to stay healthy. Medicaid ensures that older adults can afford their care, covering a large share of long term care and can also help people with complex health needs get long term services and support they need.
Medicaid provides critical support to people of color, who face unfair and discriminatory barriers to care. Expanded access to Medicaid has been shown to reduce inequities in coverage and improve health. The Medicaid program is a lifeline for people of color and people with low incomes. The COVID-19 pandemic is reinforcing how essential the Medicaid program is for people who face unfair barriers to economic security, and it is shining a bright light on the urgent need for policymakers to ensure the program can meet the growing need.
By: Donte Prayer
Health Access Coordinator, North Carolina AIDS Action Network