When the ACA came into effect, the thought process was that many people who had untreated illnesses would finally make their way to their doctors with their new coverage.
However, Medical Economics identifies that this isn’t the case at all. From 2013 to 2014, when the ACA was becoming more active, the number of visits to a PCP went up by only 0.3%. This is certainly not what was expected, and, more interestingly, these people were not any more sick than those arriving last year.
That is to say, there weren’t new cases of diabetes and other chronic conditions being reported, and this rise in visits could almost be considered to be incidental.
Health coverage does not mean “Health Activation”, as Compass Healthcare points out. For many employers, their employees are actually covered, but the out of pocket or the lack of interest keeps them from actually using that insurance. Basically, people aren’t using it even if it’s being given away for free!
However, we did some digging, and we found where everyone’s been going.
The real party is in emergency rooms across the country, which saw a huge spike, averaging around 10%, in patients during the same time period that Compass talks about. Most of these cases were not emergencies, but visits that could have been handled by an Urgent Care facility or a simple doctor’s visit.
The problem may be that when more people do finally get insurance, they don’t always make the best spending decisions. The ER will most likely cost you more money than any immediate-care facility, and these statistics show that consumers may not be aware of where their money is going in terms of their coverage.
That’s what we’re here for. We’ll make it easy to navigate all of your employees’ insurance questions by handling them personally. Sign up for more information.