Healthcare Costs are Less of Barrier for Patients in Need, CDC Reports

Source: CDC/NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, 1997-March 2015, Family Core component. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/earlyrelease201509.pdf.
Source: CDC/NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, 1997-March 2015, Family Core component.

By Bill Bunker, Executive Vice President, SCI Solutions

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center of Health Statistics (NCHS) found the rate of people who did not seek medical care because of cost fell to 4.4 percent, representing a 16-year-low. This rate has been on the decline since 2011, as the Affordable Care Act has steadily decreased the uninsured rate.

The rate of people without health insurance stood at 9.2 percent for the first three months of 2015. In the same period just one year ago, the rate was at 11.5 percent. This is the first time since the 1990s that the uninsured rate has reached single digits.

By the numbers, 29 million people lacked health insurance in early 2015, compared with 36 million people in 2014. That number was at a high of 48.6 million in 2010, the year the Affordable Care Act was signed into law.

While this early report only accounts for figures from January through March of 2015, the results strongly suggest that expanded healthcare coverage is encouraging more people get the care they need. This is good news not only for patients, but also medical providers as it enables them to deliver care to a wider demographic of insured patients while being more consistently paid by insurance companies.

Have you noticed a difference in the percentage of insured patients in your practice? Has your patient population expanded since the passing for the Affordable Care Act? Comment below.

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