The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) seems to have led to a dramatic improvement in U.S. residents’ access to medical care.
The percentage of U.S. residents of all ages who failed to get care due to cost at some time during the previous 12 months dropped to 4.4 percent during the first three months of 2015.
That’s down from an average of 5.3 percent for all of 2014; down from 5.9 percent for all of 2013; and down from a recent high of 6.9 percent in 2009 and 2010.
The percentage of consumers who reported cost-related care access problems was already starting to fall in 2011, before many PPACA coverage access provisions started to take effect, but improvement accelerated in 2014, when the PPACA exchange program and PPACA Medicaid expansion program came to life, and it accelerated again between 2014 and early 2015.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the care access data today in an early release of new results from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) program.
The Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) program already provided generous coverage programs for children before 2014, and Medicare provided almost universal coverage access for older adults. Because children and older adults already had ready access to coverage before 2014, PPACA has had the most dramatic access on coverage rates for adults ages 18 to 64.
The CDC reported in the new NHIS data release that the percentage of people ages 18 to 64 who were uninsured dropped to less than 26 percent in early 2015. That was down from 32 percent in 2014, and down from 40 percent in 2013.