A profile of Medicaid and non-Medicaid residents suggests both similarities and differences. Of particular policy relevance is how these residents compare on levels of disability, an important indicator of need for services. Medicaid and non-Medicaid residents have a similar distribution of ADL and IADL impairments, but Medicaid residents are much more likely to have severe mental illness or intellectual disabilities, and non-Medicaid residents are much more likely to have Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive impairments.
Compared to non-Medicaid residents, Medicaid residents are more likely to be younger and male, to have never married, to be racial and ethnic minorities (non-White), and to be less educated, all characteristics consistent with lower income and assets. Of the chronic conditions examined, the prevalence is similar by Medicaid status, except that a higher proportion of Medicaid residents have diabetes, which is likely related to a higher proportion of Medicaid residents being minorities. Consistent with the higher proportion of Medicaid residents having severe mental illness or intellectual and developmental disabilities, a higher proportion of Medicaid than non-Medicaid residents exhibit problem behaviors such as being verbally and physically abusive. Among persons with at least one problem behavior, Medicaid residents are more likely to be prescribed medications to control their behaviors.