A look at healthcare coverage, trends before and after ACA implementation

Americans' access to healthcare coverage and overall health improved after the Affordable Care Act's first round of open enrollment in October 2013, according to a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers analyzed the 2012-2015 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index to study the differences in how many individuals reported they were uninsured, lacked a personal physician, lacked easy access to medicine and were unable to afford needed care, as well as differences in their overall health status.

Here are some notable findings from the report:

  • Compared with the time prior to the ACA, by the first quarter of 2015, the uninsured rate decreased by 7.9 percent.
  • For the same time period, the rate of those without a personal physician dropped 3.5 percent--from 4.8 percent to 2.2 percent.
  • The rate of those who were without easy access to medication fell 2.4 percent.
  • The rate of those who were unable to afford care dropped from 6.7 percent to 2.2 percent.

Additionally, the study finds that the uninsured rate declined among low-income adults in both states that chose to expand Medicaid and in states that did not. However, the uninsured rate declined the most--5.2 percent--in states that expanded the program.

These results are consistent with other analysis. For instance, in the 29 states that expanded their Medicaid programs, 93 percent of residents now have insurance. In the states that haven't expanded Medicaid, about 86 percent of their residents have coverage, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

For more:
- here's the study's abstract (subscription for full study required)