AHRQ Report Shows Gains in Access to and Affordability of Health Insurance
More people have health care coverage, have a usual place to go for medical care and can more easily afford medical bills after the Affordable Care Act’s provisions have taken effect, according to a new report by AHRQ. The 2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report and 5th Anniversary Update on the National Quality Strategyreflects gains in enrollment in qualified health plans through the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace as well as expanded Medicaid coverage that became available in more than half of the states. The report found that the rate of uninsured Americans under age 65 decreased from 18 percent to 10 percent. Hispanics showed the biggest gains in having a usual place to go for medical care, climbing from 77 percent in 2010 to 83 percent in the first half of 2015. The cost of health care coverage, meanwhile, became more affordable as fewer people reported having trouble paying medical bills within the past year. This year’s report was the first to include an update on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Quality Strategy. For more information on the report, read AHRQ’s press release, access an infographic that highlights findings and read AHRQ’s new blog post.