The Affordable Care Act's Impacts on Access to Insurance and Health Care for Low-Income Populations

Posted: 19 Apr 2017

See all articles by Gerald F. Kominski

Gerald F. Kominski

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research; UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Narissa J. Nonzee

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health

Andrea Sorensen

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Public Policy & Social Research

Date Written: March 2017

Abstract

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) expands access to health insurance in the United States, and, to date, an estimated 20 million previously uninsured individuals have gained coverage. Understanding the law's impact on coverage, access, utilization, and health outcomes, especially among low-income populations, is critical to informing ongoing debates about its effectiveness and implementation. Early findings indicate that there have been significant reductions in the rate of uninsurance among the poor and among those who live in Medicaid expansion states. In addition, the law has been associated with increased health care access, affordability, and use of preventive and outpatient services among low-income populations, though impacts on inpatient utilization and health outcomes have been less conclusive. Although these early findings are generally consistent with past coverage expansions, continued monitoring of these domains is essential to understand the long-term impact of the law for underserved populations.

Suggested Citation

Kominski, Gerald F. and Nonzee, Narissa J. and Sorensen, Andrea, The Affordable Care Act's Impacts on Access to Insurance and Health Care for Low-Income Populations (March 2017). Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 38, pp. 489-505, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2953263 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031816-044555

Gerald F. Kominski (Contact Author)

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research ( email )

10960 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, CA 90024
United States

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health ( email )

650 Charles E. Young Drive South
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Narissa J. Nonzee

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health ( email )

650 Charles E. Young Drive South
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Andrea Sorensen

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Public Policy & Social Research ( email )

Box 951656
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

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