Giving Compass’ Take:
• Reuters reports on a recent study showing how challenging it remains for millions of uninsured Americans to get an appointment with a primary care doctor — and pay the fee.
• This article shows the limits of the Affordable Care Act and the gaps that remain, but the takeaway is that there is no “one-size-fits-all” policy solution. It’s worth examining the states that are starting to bring down healthcare costs.
Without some kind of health insurance, getting an appointment with a primary care doctor, and being able to pay in full or over time remains a challenge for millions in the U.S., a recent study suggests.
Although the number of uninsured is down from a high of 49 million people in 2010, to less than 30 million in 2017, barriers to their ability to access care have not changed much, the study team reports in Health Affairs.
In 2012-2013, and again in 2016, researchers found that only about 80 percent of uninsured callers willing to pay in full could get a primary care appointment, and just one in seven could get an appointment if they needed to pay over time.
“We’re just starting to learn how healthcare is changing as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” said lead author Brendan Saloner of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
“We know that access to care has improved for people who got health insurance under the ACA. But we took a unique perspective with this study and looked at the population who still have no insurance — whether by choice or as a result of ineligibility,” he said in a telephone interview.
Read the full article about how the uninsured struggle to obtain and afford doctor appointments by Mary Gillis at reuters.com.
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