Another day, another study on health reform.
Research published in Health Affairs journal claims that if the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act had been in place between 2001 and 2008, people in the individual insurance market would have saved about $280 per year on out-of-pocket costs.
The study says the savings would be even greater for the near-elderly (between 55-64) and people with low incomes, suggesting they would have saved $589 and $535, respectively.
Report author Steven Hill compared out-of-pocket spending on health care between individual and employment-related insurance, controlling for numerous characteristics such as health status.
Though most Americans get their health coverage from an employer, 11 million people buy individual policies—which typically has higher out-of-pocket costs, the report explains.
“The Affordable Care Act is likely to increase the generosity of individual insurance by requiring minimum benefits for plans participating in the state health insurance exchanges, which will be new markets for coverage overseen at the state or federal level, or possibly both,” Hill wrote.
In addition to curbing average out-of-pocket spending, the study says, the health care law would reduce the risk of incurring extremely high out-of-pocket costs. The chances of incurring at least $6,000 in out-of-pocket costs fell from 2.6 percent to 0.6. percent.