Three-State Study Show Less Churn in Health Coverage Post-ACA Than Some Had Predicted

eAlert c5f5bdef-91f6-4538-96f6-fd5151a07b17

<p>New research published in <em>Health Affairs</em> today shows that rates at which low-income adults lost, gained, or switched health insurance in 2015 were lower than some predictions made prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act. </p><p>For their Commonwealth Fund–supported study, Harvard’s Benjamin D. Sommers, M.D., and colleagues surveyed low-income adults in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Texas to determine how frequent changes in coverage, or “churning,” affected their health care. While some analysts had estimated that up to half of Medicaid and marketplace enrollees would switch plans within one year, this three-state study indicates that only about one of four respondents changed coverage at least once in 2015.</p>
<p>Still, those who changed insurance coverage were more likely than adults remaining in the same plan to receive low-quality medical care or to have to switch doctors. Coverage disruptions also caused people to stop their prescription medicines or skip doses.</p>
<p>The authors say that guaranteeing 12 months of continuous coverage to adults who enroll in Medicaid, as well as overlapping Medicaid with marketplace coverage, could help minimize these negative impacts.</p> Read more