Fewer Americans avoiding medical care due to costNews added by Benefits Pro on January 3, 2017
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BY JACK CRAVER

In 2013, the last full year before the ACA went into effect, 16 percent of Americans reported avoiding care because of financial concerns. In 2015, only 13 said the same thing. (Photo: iStock)

A new study suggests the Affordable Care Act has led to millions of additional Americans being able to afford a visit to the doctor.

Because of the increase in coverage, fewer people are avoiding routine health care to save money, says a report by the Commonwealth Fund. The study is one of several to have reached the same conclusion.

In 2013, the last full year before the ACA went into effect, 16 percent of Americans reported avoiding care because of financial concerns. In 2015, only 13 said the same thing.

Although there have been plenty of concerns raised about the cost of ACA plans purchased through Healthcare.gov, even expensive plans with high deductibles and out-of-pocket limits have offered many people the opportunity to access low or no-cost access to basic health care, such as annual physicals.

In addition, those who have benefited the most from the ACA are low-income people who have gained access to free or nearly free coverage through the expansion of Medicaid in most states.

Not only are fewer people avoiding care, but fewer people who seek care are unable to pay the medical bills. A study released earlier this year showed that uncompensated hospital care has decreased in states that expanded Medicaid.

The progress demonstrated such reports add to the pressure on Congressional Republicans and President-elect Donald Trump as they begin crafting a bill to repeal the ACA.

A separate study showed that many of the most dramatic gains in health coverage have come from parts of the country that voted heavily for the president-elect.

A recent feature in Vox put a face on this seeming political contradiction, interviewing Trump voters in southeastern Kentucky who have Obamacare plans, including one woman who signs people up for ACA plans.

Many hoped Trump would improve their health care situation, while others did not believe that the candidate was serious about scrapping the system.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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