Federal law has helped make insurance more affordable, but not for everyone
Many of those living in New York are still unable to afford health insurance coverage, despite the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The federal law provides many people with subsidies that can offset the cost of coverage, but even with subsidies, New Yorkers are finding it difficult to afford the policies they need. A recent survey from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that cost is the greatest barrier preventing people from purchasing health insurance coverage.
Majority of consumers cannot afford health insurance coverage
The survey found that some 79% of those who shopped for insurance coverage simply could not afford it. Of these, 58% noted that they had $100 or less left after paying their bills, which means that they cannot justify the high cost of health insurance coverage. Wages have not grown at the same pace of insurance premiums, which has limited the options that consumers have when it comes to purchasing policies they are interested in.
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Medicaid expansion makes coverage more accessible
While many people are struggling to afford health insurance, others have found great benefit from the Affordable Care Act. According to the survey, 74% of the 900,000 New York City residents that have used the state’s exchange to find policies receive Medicaid coverage. This is due to the state’s work to expand its Medicaid program, which has made health insurance coverage more accessible for a wide range of consumers.
Premiums continue to grow as medical costs rise
Finding ways to make insurance coverage less expensive is a difficult problem to solve. Subsidies have helped make coverage more accessible, but the growing cost of medical care is placing insurers under more financial pressure. In order to recover from financial losses, insurers have had to raise premiums, which is becoming burdensome for consumers. Those without health insurance scarcely have the funds needed to cover the cost of medical care, as well, and this continues to be a significant problem for many people.