Poorer Residents Face Difficulty Paying for Coverage Under Reform
About 90% of U.S. residents with incomes greater than the federal poverty level will be able to afford private health insurance under the federal health reform law, but people with incomes near the poverty level still may struggle with out-of-pocket costs, according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund, National Journal reports.
The report analyzed consumer spending data on family budgets across income levels and compared them with the costs of purchasing health insurance through state exchanges and out-of-pocket health care spending. The data analyzed projected costs for 2014, when the health reform law and state insurance exchanges will be fully implemented.
According to the report, the overwhelming majority of families would be able to afford health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs after paying for child care, food, housing, taxes and transportation.
However, the report found that about 17% of families with annual incomes of less than $44,700 and 25% of families with annual incomes between $44,700 and $67,050 would struggle with paying out-of-pocket costs (DoBias, National Journal, 4/27).
In addition, about 8.5% to 9% of families with incomes closest to the poverty level would not be able to afford basic necessities and typical medical bills, according to the report (Evans, Modern Healthcare, 4/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.