As a health insurance agent, it is imperative to remain cognizant of the latest developments in healthcare policy and legislation, and how they may impact your clients. One piece of healthcare legislation that has had a powerful impact on reducing racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare.
Racial disparities in healthcare have long been a concern in the United States, with people of color often facing barriers to accessing affordable and quality healthcare. The ACA has helped to address some of these disparities by improving access to healthcare for minority populations. As an agent, it is crucial to understand how the ACA has affected your clients and how you can help them navigate the changes brought about by the legislation.
A recent study published in JAMA Network Open found that the ACA’s Medicaid expansion was associated with a 4.4% reduction in the number of minority adults who reported not having health insurance. The lack of access to health insurance causes of course causes difficulties in accessing healthcare, and minority populations are more likely to be uninsured than White populations. As an agent, you can help your clients understand the options available to them under Medicaid expansion and ensure that they are enrolled in the appropriate plan.
Another study published by the Commonwealth Fund found that the ACA has helped to reduce racial disparities in access to healthcare. The study analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey and found that the percentage of nonelderly adults who did not have health insurance decreased by 43% among Black people, 38% among Hispanic people, and 28% among White people between 2010 and 2016. As an agent, you can help your clients understand the importance of health insurance and ensure that they are enrolled in a plan that meets their needs.
The ACA has also led to improvements in health outcomes for minorities. A study published in Health Affairs found that since the implementation of the ACA, there has been a pronounced reduction in racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare utilization and health outcomes. The study analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey and found that the percentage of nonelderly adults who reported not receiving needed medical care due to cost decreased significantly among all racial groups. As an agent, you can help your clients understand the importance of preventive care and ensure that they have access to the appropriate resources to maintain their health.
In conclusion, the ACA has had a monumental impact on reducing racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare, and as an agent, you need to be aware of how the legislation has affected your clients. By understanding the options available under the ACA, you can help your clients access the healthcare they need to maintain their health and well-being.