The Affordable Care Act has significantly increased health insurance coverage and access to care among U.S. adults nationwide. However, the law gives states flexibility in implementing certain provisions, leading to wide variations between states in consumers’ experiences. An analysis of the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2016 found uninsured rates among adults ages 19 to 64 across the four states varied from 7 percent in New York and 10 percent in California to 16 percent in Florida and 25 percent in Texas. This variation was also apparent in the proportions of residents reporting problems getting needed care because of the cost—significantly lower in California and New York than in Florida and Texas. Lower percentages of Californians and New Yorkers reported having a medical bill problem in the past 12 months or having accrued medical debt compared to Floridians and Texans. These variations might be explained by several factors: whether the state expanded Medicaid eligibility; whether it ran its own health insurance marketplace; what the uninsured rate was prior to the Affordable Care Act; differences in the cost protections provided by private health plans; and demographic differences.
- Issue Brief: Insurance Coverage, Access to Care, and Medical Debt Since the ACA: A Look at California, Florida, New York, and Texas. The Commonwealth Fund.