Growing Insurance Coverage Did Not Reduce Access To Care For Those Already Insured

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Salam Abdus, Ph.D. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Dr. Salam Abdus

Salam Abdus, Ph.D.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: When the ACA was passed, some people were concerned that access to care for people who already had insurance would decrease because there would be so many newly insured people trying to get care.

To answer this question, we reviewed eight measures of access using data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and the Census Bureaus’ American Community Survey for the period 2008-2014 to study if change in local area insurance rate affected access to care of adults who were continuously insured for two years. Access measures that we looked at include whether they had a usual source of care, were unable to receive necessary medical care, were delayed in receiving necessary medical care, had a physical exam in the past year, had blood pressure checked, had a flu shot, experienced delays getting a doctor appointment, and problems seeing a specialist.

We found no consistent evidence of negative impacts on continuously insured adults. We also looked at two subgroups of vulnerable adults: Medicaid beneficiaries and adults living in health professional shortage areas. For both continuously insured subgroups we found no consistent evidence of negative impacts.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: From 2008 – 2014, growing insurance coverage did not appear to reduce access to care to people who already had insurance.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future research should look at the impact of growing insurance coverage beyond 2014.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: The views expressed in this article are those of ours, and no official endorsement by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Growing Insurance Coverage Did Not Reduce Access To Care For The Continuously Insured
Salam Abdus and Steven C. Hill
Health Aff May 2017 36:5791-798; doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2016.1671

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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