Health

After Obamacare, many adults with schizophrenia have health insurance


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The national uninsured rate for adults under 65 with schizophrenia fell by 50% following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014, according to research by the University of Massachusetts Amherst announced this week. JAMA Psychiatry.

Also known as Obamacare, the health care reform law was designed to make Health Insurance more affordable and accessible to all Americans. Previous research found that the national under-insurance rate fell after the ACA went into effect, from 16.6% in 2010 to 11.0% in 2021.

“We don’t know if we see the same thing with people with schizophrenia and we’re interested in looking at this because people with schizophrenia need continuity of care,” said Kimberley Geissler, associate professor of health policy and management in the School of Health and Medical Sciences. “This is a very serious, chronic condition, and having insurance is really important, but people with schizophrenia can face a lot of barriers to maintaining coverage,” said UMass Amherst. . They are less likely to be employed and have higher incomes. societal needsAmong other things.”

Before the Affordable Care Act, 8.4% of people with schizophrenia had no insurance, a lower rate than general populationBecause many people with schizophrenia may be eligible for Medicaid and/or Medicare under disability provisions, Geissler notes.

Geissler and her team analyzed data from 2008 to 2020 from the Agency for Quality and Medical Research. Survey of health expenditure table (MEPS). The sample included a total of 9.173 million people with schizophrenia, defined as those who had at least one long-term medical visit. psychosis over a two-year period. The researchers found a “significant reduction” in the proportion of uninsured people with schizophrenia after ACA. Before Obamacare, 8.4% were uninsured; after ACA, rate uninsured people with schizophrenia dropped to 4%.

“We see this drop in uninsured rates primarily due to increased Medicaid coverage, which makes sense because overall Medicaid coverage has increased dramatically with ACA,” says Geissler. Medicaid expansion and insurance regulation are no longer in effect,” Geissler said. “People who don’t know they’re eligible or haven’t signed up for Medicaid before can get coverage after the ACA.”

The researchers calculated that about 70% of insured people with schizophrenia were covered by Medicaid after ACA, compared with 61% before ACA. Medicare coverage increased to 43% after ACA, up from 38% before ACA. Private insurance fell slightly to 19% after ACA from 22% before ACA.

Geissler said the findings are an encouraging move towards universal coverage for people with schizophrenia. “I’m glad to see the uninsured rates are as low as they are today. There are so many people who are now insured that they weren’t before.”

The findings also suggest that there is better care for this vulnerable group of patients. “We know that having insurance improves a variety of outcomes, but we haven’t looked specifically at whether these increased coverage rates for people with schizophrenia are related,” she said. to increase accessibility. “We suspect yes, but we don’t know for sure.”

More information:
Kimberley H. Geissler et al, Differences in coverage for people with schizophrenia after the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, JAMA Psychiatry (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.4628

quote: Post-Obamacare, more adults with schizophrenia have health insurance (2023, January 20) obtained January 20, 2023 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-01-post -obamacare-adults-schizophrenia-health.html

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