A Look at Primary Care Access Before the Affordable Care Act, and a Hint at What Lies Ahead

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<p>Both health insurance and income have long been linked with access to primary and preventive care in the U.S. In a new <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2014/jul/access-primary-and-preventive-health-care-across-states-prior">Commonwealth Fund issue brief</a>, researchers show just how big a role these two factors played in each state prior to the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions—and how those reforms are likely to help people, regardless of income level, get the care they need to stay healthy.</p><p>The study shows that in 2012, just prior to the ACA’s coverage changes went into effect, there were wide differences between states in primary and preventive care access for adults under age 65, as well as pronounced income-based disparities within states. But those gaps narrowed markedly for people with health coverage, even those with low income. The insured were far more likely to have a regular source of care and to be able to afford care when needed.</p>
<p>Visit <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2014/jul/access-primary-and-preventive-health-care-across-states-prior">commonwealthfund.org</a> to read more about the findings, which provide a baseline for measuring the impact of state Medicaid expansions and the ACA’s private insurance reforms. And be sure to view our infographic focusing on older adults.</p>