‘“Simply having health insurance is no guarantee that consumers can afford to pay for health care,” the report noted. When people decided to forgo medical care, fees that would have to be paid out of pocket were a major contributing factor, the report, which surveyed adults with lower- and middle-income levels, found. The report did not include people who had health insurance through Medicaid or those who had health insurance through their employers.
Overall, the Affordable Care Act made health insurance and health care itself more affordable, in part by subsidizing the cost through tax credits to those who qualify. But for some Americans, it was not affordable enough, the report showed. Of adults who were insured for a full year, 25.2 percent did not get necessary medical care, including tests, treatments and medications. Of lower- to middle-income adults, 32.3 percent reported not getting care they needed.
Those with higher deductibles were more likely to skip getting care, and the report recommended that the government redesign one particular level of coverage -- the silver plan -- offered on its exchanges, to lower out-of-pocket costs.
One reason consumers face such high out-of-pocket costs is because being forced to spend more of one’s own money is supposed to stop people from seeking unnecessary care. This policy gained momentum under the Affordable Care Act, the New York Times reported in February. As a result, even though Obamacare vastly expanded the number of people who could access and pay for health insurance plans, it didn’t necessarily ensure that those same people could afford the medical care itself.’ - Is Obamacare Working? Quarter Of Americans Who Bought Health Insurance On Exchanges Couldn't Afford Medical Care, International Business Times, 05/22/2015
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