/Study rates Mississippi 49th in healthcare access and affordability

Study rates Mississippi 49th in healthcare access and affordability

The study examined whether the Affordable Care act had made it easier to pay for medical treatment. The Affordable Care Act’s first two years saw a drop in the number of Americans saying they couldn’t afford to see a doctor or get medical care. The Commonwealth Fund Study stated that the United States is now closer than ever to attaining near universal coverage. This essential component of a highly-performing health system, said the Commonwealth Fund Study. “The historic fall in uninsured rates has been accompanied with widespread reductions in cost access problems and improved access to routine care to at-risk adults.” Mississippi’s statistics reflect this national trend to some extent. According to Wednesday’s study, the number of Mississippians saying they can’t afford medical treatment fell 14 percent between 2013-2015. The decline in low income Mississippians was even more dramatic, with a 21% drop between 2013 and 2015. Low income Mississippians were those who earn less than 200 percent of federal poverty ($20,160 for a three-person family). Mississippi is one of the few states with high rates of uninsured adults. In Mississippi, 19% of adults were uninsured in 2011. Higher percentages were only seen in Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas. Minority groups are more affected by these numbers. Mississippi saw 21 percent of African American adults without insurance in 2015. This compares to only 16 percent for whites. The highest rate of uninsured Hispanics was 53 percent. The Commonwealth Fund study found that high rates of uninsured people were more prevalent in states that didn’t expand Medicaid. The program allows people who earn up to 400% of the federal poverty line to be eligible for Medicaid. The expansion was not approved in any state with high uninsured rate. Mississippi’s Medicaid expansion does not allow adults to become pregnant or receive Medicaid benefits if they have a disability. The states with the lowest uninsured population, like Massachusetts (4%) and Hawaii (6%) have expanded Medicaid. The Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit foundation, promotes high-quality healthcare for those with low or no income.