Before health reform was fully enacted, more than one million Ohioans could not afford health care — even if they had insurance, according to a new study released Monday.
In Ohio, nearly as many residents were insured but had out-of-pocket medical costs they couldn’t afford as the estimated 1.5 million residents who had no insurance in 2012 — according to the study from The Commonwealth Fund, a private, nonpartisan research foundation.
“The vast majority of people struggling to afford health care are low- and middle- income, and exactly the people the Affordable Care Act was designed to help,” said Cathy Schoen, lead author of the report. “This report demonstrates that the health reform law was accurately targeted toward the needs of the uninsured and under-insured.”
The uninsured rate for Ohio was about 15 percent, while just under 13 percent of non-elderly adult Ohioans were considered “under-insured’’ in 2012. That report defined under-insured as having family medical costs that exceeded 10 percent of household income for middle-income families, and 5 percent or more for poor families, based on U.S. Census data.
The number of under-insured Ohioans was near the high end of the under-insurance rate for all states, which ranged from a low of 8 percent in New Hampshire to highs of 16 percent in Mississippi and Tennessee and 17 percent in Idaho and Utah, Commonwealth reported.
Collectively, 28 percent of Ohioans, or about 3 million residents, were either under-insured or uninsured in 2012. That was slightly below the national rate in which one in three people, or about 79 million Americans, had no coverage or were at risk for not being able to afford health care in 2012, the study found.
Low- and middle-income families were most likely to be affected, according to the study, which found 13 percent of the under-insured earned between $47,000 and $95,000 a year for a family of four. Meanwhile, 81 percent earned less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or just under $47,000 a year for a family of four.
But the under-insured were also the most likely to benefit from the Affordable Care Act, which offers tax credit subsidies to help buy insurance to families earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or $94,200 for a family of four.
By Randy Tucker - Dayton Daily News, Ohio (MCT)
©2014 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)
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