Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Health Insurance Coverage Among Middle-Aged Adults

TitleEffects of the Affordable Care Act on Health Insurance Coverage Among Middle-Aged Adults
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsKwon, E, Park, SJung, McBride, TD
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
Pagination712 - 732
Date Published07/2019
ISBN Number0020-7314
KeywordsAffordable Care Act, insurance status change, uninsured middle-aged adults

Access to insurance coverage is challenging for middle-aged adults with higher perceived insurance needs (e.g., declining health status) and higher barriers to coverage (e.g., unstable employment and income status). Focusing on middle-aged adults, this study investigated the extent to which employment, financial, and health statuses are associated with changing patterns of insurance status following implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Seven waves (2002–2014) of the Health and Retirement Study, combined with the RAND Center for the Study of Aging data, were used. Four patterns of insurance status change emerged: constantly insured, constantly uninsured, insured after ACA, and uninsured after ACA. Compared to constantly insured, other subgroups were associated with unstable employment, unskilled labor, and part-time employment. The role of public insurance might be nearly negligible for those who were in unstable employment status and needed to shift to other forms of private coverage. More attention is needed to better understand how the insurance market functions and policy changes that could improve it. There were demographic patterns in those who remained chronically uninsured: constantly low income and poor health conditions. This suggests a much-needed practical underpinning for policymaking efforts regarding this high-risk group entering old age with catastrophic health care costs.


doi: 10.1177/0020731419865117

Short TitleInt J Health Serv
Citation Key10210
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