Healthcare insecurity hits an all-time low
- From Q4 2013 to Q1 2015, the percentage of American adults who experienced difficulty in the past year affording healthcare or medicine dropped from 19% to 15.5%, a new Gallup study stated.
- The drop coincides with the decline in the number of uninsured Americans (11% in the first quarter of this year).
- "Generally, those without health insurance are at least three times more likely to report not having enough money for healthcare/medicine than their counterparts with health insurance," the study noted.
The coincidence of the decline in healthcare insecurity with the decline in uninsured Americans is interesting. By and large, the decline in the uninsured coincides the onset of the ACA's provisions. As such, the law's ripple effects are billowing out to individuals' ability to pay for services and present themselves into care settings.
While the increasing number of people seeking healthcare services can place a strain on some facilities' resources, the ability to pay for healthcare services reflects an improving economy, the report noted. The authors add to that end the percentage of Americans hard up to purchase food is at a record low.
"At the same time, there are growing concerns that health insurance costs are set to rise in many parts of the country, as insurers and states adjust to the new healthcare market," Gallup's Jeffrey Jones and Nader Nekvasil point out, adding, "These increases would mostly affect Americans who do not qualify for a health insurance subsidy under the Affordable Care Act."
The takeaway of the study is the abiltiy to pay for medical services is a good sign yet the threat of an ACA repeal or replacement could upend the progress made. While opinions can go back and forth on the merits of the ACA, here's CMS' acting Administrators thoughts on the Gallup study:
There will be a "yeah, but..." coming from somewhere on seeing this news. A simpler read is "This is good news." https://t.co/gj4eW9OakR— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) June 20, 2016
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