The ACA’s Potential to Narrow Racial Disparities in Access to Care

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<p>A new Commonwealth Fund analysis finds that, over time, the insurance expansions of the Affordable Care Act may well narrow longstanding racial and ethnic disparities in access to health care.</p><p>Researchers find that in the years just before the ACA expanded coverage, black and Hispanic working-age adults were far more likely than whites to be uninsured, to lack a regular source of care, and to go without needed care because of costs. But among the insured, access to care was much higher across all racial and ethnic groups, and adults were much less likely to go without needed care for cost reasons. Disparities between groups were narrower among the insured than the uninsured, even after adjusting for income, age, sex, and health status.</p>
<p>The researchers say that insurance coverage alone, however, will not eliminate disparities in access to care. Ensuring that coverage comes with adequate protection from high out-of-pocket costs is also critical, as is culturally appropriate outreach to help the newly insured connect with the health care system.</p> Read the brief