The Affordable Care Act has reportedly helped to bring increased rates of insurance to low-income populations and provide more affordable insurance options to those struggling to afford it. Primarily, this is achieved through funding state programs to support the health of low-income communities, expanding pre-existing Medicaid eligibility to give more direct federal aid to low-income families, and through availing those ineligible for Medicaid with discounted rates for private health insurance through the healthcare exchanges. However, state responses to the funding received from the ACA differ drastically, leading to inconsistent outcomes. Moreover, literature suggests this population is still underinsured and that health outcomes continue to suffer. Using the National Health Interview Survey from years 2015-2019, this paper attempts to correlate the various types of insurance to various indicators of primary health. These include incidences of chronic illness and access to primary healthcare, as lower indices are generally indicative of poor and worsening health outcomes over time. Primarily analyzed in this paper are the differences in health outcomes between populations that are covered under private health insurance, Medicaid, and marketplace-based (exchange) insurance. In doing so, this paper aims to assess the state of the Medicaid program and the average efficiency of exchange based plans across the United States in promoting the general wellness of such populations.
- Fellow: Ayaan Memon
- Advisor: Hillary Samples