Medicaid in the US Territories

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Health insurance through Medicaid plays a significant role in improving access to healthcare for many people with low incomes including children, people with disabilities, and millions of cancer patients and survivors. Medicaid is a key pillar in addressing public health and supporting the health systems of Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S Virgin Islands where it is one of the largest sources of health insurance.  

Unlike in the states, where Medicaid funding responds to changes in health care costs and the number of people who qualify, Medicaid in Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories is partly funded through block grants, meaning this base funding does not adjust to meet growing health care costs, or increased need due to economic downturns, natural disasters, or pandemics.

Explore the videos below to hear directly from patients, health care providers and territorial leaders in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands about the importance of Medicaid in addressing health disparities, responding to natural disasters and the pandemic as well as the major problems caused by block grant funding for Medicaid and the uncertainty of supplemental funding.