Many Americans Have Access to Coverage Under the ACA, but Millions are Still Underinsured
Those that have chosen to be self-insured through the Affordable Care Act have chosen plans that fit within their budget. Unfortunately, millions are enrolled in skimpy health plans that often keep them from seeking care altogether, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund.
Researchers estimate that in 2018, 45 percent of working-age adults, or 87 million people, were either underinsured or had no coverage for at least part of the last year – a share that is essentially unchanged from 2010, despite monumental shifts in health policy during that time.
The Affordable Care Act, which was enacted in 2010 and saw key provisions put in effect in 2014, expanded Medicaid eligibility and subsidized coverage for millions of Americans who were low-income or didn’t have access to health insurance through their employers, but largely left employer-based coverage alone. Nearly 20 million people gained access to health coverage as a result.
Yet the country also is now grappling with a larger pool of people who are underinsured – meaning they have health coverage, but also have high out-of-pocket health care costs relative to their incomes and are more likely to put off care or struggle to pay medical expenses, according to the report.
This is a national crisis and may only get worse if we don’t implement options for patients.
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