In 2006, West Virginia established Mountain Health Choices, a key component of its redesigned Medicaid program.
The program was designed to engage low-income parents and children by offering additional benefits for those who agree to some basic rules that are designed to increase personal responsibility and strengthen their relationship to a medical home.
A new report evaluating the program from West Virginia University’s Institute for Health Policy Research and Mathematica Policy Research shows that despite widespread support for the goals of the program, Mountain Health Choices has yet to realize its potential.
Many people in the state believe the program may have difficulty achieving the goals of the program due to implementation challenges. For example, beneficiaries and providers say they have not been receiving continuous education and outreach they need to help beneficiaries make an informed choice of benefit plans. The authors recommend a series of improvements to enhance the program.