Health insurance is a great way to stay healthy and avoid costly health care costs, according to a study that found more than 60% of the more than 6.4 million Americans who bought coverage from health insurance plans last year did so to avoid having to pay for a doctor’s visits.
The study by the Institute for Health and Economic Research (IHEER) at George Mason University, which looked at coverage purchased from federally-sponsored health insurance exchanges, found that more than half of the people who got coverage from the federal exchange plans also signed up to avoid paying out-of-pocket expenses for health care services, such as hospitalization and prescription drugs.
“More than half” of the enrollees were looking to avoid a hospitalization or other medical treatment, the study found.
The researchers also found that, when it came to out-patient services, people who bought insurance were more likely to pay more for prescriptions and procedures, which are often costly.
“This means that the more likely a patient is to pay out-pays for out-dated care, the higher their out-pocket costs will be,” said John Lippman, the IHEER lead author and a senior research fellow in health policy at George Washington University’s Program on Health Policy and Economics.
The findings were published Tuesday in the Journal of Health Economics.
In addition to the findings that insurers have increased premiums for individuals and their families, the report also found insurance companies have increased deductibles for some services.
This means people with more expensive conditions, such a cancer diagnosis, are at greater risk for higher costs, the authors wrote.
Insurance companies also have increased the amount of money they are allowed to charge for certain services, including for prescriptions.
“These increases may be causing people to choose less expensive, less comprehensive health care solutions that may also be making them less likely to seek treatment for their medical conditions,” Lippin said.
The report found that the number of people who were uninsured for most of the year has declined.
About 20 million people were uninsured in 2016, down from 23 million in 2010.
The number of Americans with employer-sponsored coverage has also dropped, dropping from 24 million in 2016 to 16 million in 2020.
However, the number with Medicaid coverage, or federal insurance subsidies, increased from 14 million to 18 million, while the number without insurance dropped from 20 million to 14 million.
The IHEERS analysis found that Americans are more likely now to be uninsured because they are less likely than in past years to have health insurance or the cost of insurance has risen.
That’s because the cost and coverage of health care has risen faster than wages in recent years, which means that more people are losing their jobs and the cost has gone up, the researchers said.
“The ACA is helping reduce the number and severity of uninsured Americans by reducing costs and by increasing access to health care,” Littman said.
The IHEers report also said that people with preexisting conditions, who had been underinsured under the ACA, are more than four times more likely today to be without health insurance than they were last year.
That means that nearly one in five people without insurance are now uninsured.
Health insurance has been a great safety net for people with low incomes and who are now paying more in taxes than they earn in premiums, according a new study by Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute.
Some states are also increasing their minimum tax on high-income people.
States including Texas, Mississippi, and Arkansas have all raised their taxes to pay back their states higher health care taxes over the past year.
While some states have taken action to lower their taxes, others are not.
The tax cuts are not permanent, but they are expected to expire soon and could lead to higher taxes and higher insurance costs for people, according the study. Read more: