Making the Case for Medicaid to Establish Climate and Extreme Weather Initiatives: The Value of Co-Benefits
The Commonwealth Fund
- Co-benefits thinking can help Medicaid leaders build support and address health concerns arising from climate change and extreme weather.
- Co-benefits are additional positive outcomes that result from actions taken toward an objective in a separate primary area.
- Medicaid policies can yield co-benefits across health, economic, environmental, and societal policy areas.
Although actions that Medicaid may take to address climate change are often aligned with other major health and societal priorities, such measures tend to be viewed as separate initiatives. In reality, climate action can have benefits spanning health, environmental, economic, and societal policy areas. This brief introduces the concept of co-benefits thinking as a way to help Medicaid leaders understand and articulate the wide-ranging positive outcomes associated with climate action and shares a visual example that explores the co-benefits stemming from one Medicaid action.
Medicaid leaders may feel empowered to use this brief, combined with their knowledge of their agencies’ programs and priorities and understanding of Medicaid participants’ needs in their state, to create their own co-benefits diagrams and secure support for co-beneficial actions toward climate change and health.