ATLANTA – MAY 24, 2021 – A new study highlights the importance of continued health insurance coverage in accessing and receiving care and the scope of care in the United States. The researchers found that disruptions to health insurance coverage were constantly associated with worse access to health and problems with affordable care. The study appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Decades of research have shown that health insurance coverage is associated with better access to care and health outcomes in the U.S. However, less research has addressed interruptions in coverage (i.e., uninsured periods) among adults with current coverage and the relationship of interruptions to access to care, receiving recommended preventive services, and affordability. For more information, researchers led by Robin Yabroff, PhD, MBA of the American Cancer Society, conducted a comprehensive review of interruptions in insurance coverage among adults ages 18 to 64 from the Survey National Health Interviews 2011-2018, through various access and affordability measures. and assessed the effects of the duration of the interruption of coverage between the insured and the currently uninsured.
The study found that previous interruptions in insurance coverage were relatively common among adults ages 18 to 64 in the United States. Among currently insured adults, 5.0% with private insurance and 10.7% with public insurance reported a break in coverage the previous year, accounting for nearly 9.1 million adults in 2018. Between currently uninsured adults, 24.9% reported loss of coverage during the previous year, accounting for nearly 8.1 million adults in 2018. Compared to adults with continued health insurance coverage , adults with coverage interruptions were less likely to receive recommended prevention services and are more likely to drop out of care due to the cost and report the absence of medication due to the cost.
Longer coverage alterations were associated with worse access to care and affordability. The magnitude of the associations between coverage interruptions and access to care and affordability of care was similar among adults with current private or current public coverage. Currently uninsured adults, especially with longer uninsured periods, reported significantly worse access, reception, and affordability to care than currently insured adults with interruptions in coverage or continued coverage.
“Our findings highlight the importance of continued health insurance coverage related to access to care and affordability. This is especially relevant with recent increases in unemployment due to the COVID- pandemic. 19 and the widespread loss of private coverage based on employers, the main source of private coverage in the working-age population, ”the authors said.
Article: Yabroff R, Zhao, J, Halpern M, Fedewa S, Han X, Walnut L, Zheng Z, Jemal A. Medical insurance disruptions and access to care and affordability in the US. AJPM: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2021. doi: 10.1016 / j.amepre.2021.02.014.
URL after embargo: https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(21)00178-1/fulltext
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