Changes in Health Insurance Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act: A National Sample of U.S. Adults With Diabetes, 2009 and 2016


To assess national changes in health insurance coverage and related costs before and after implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) among U.S. adults with diabetes.


Data were cross-sectional from the 2009 and 2016 National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS). Participants were adults age ≥18 years with a previous diagnosis of diabetes who self-reported on their health insurance coverage, demographic information, diabetes-related factors, and amount spent on medical expenses and insurance premiums (N = 6,220).


Among adults with diabetes age 18–64 years, health insurance coverage increased from 84.7% in 2009 to 90.1% in 2016 (P < 0.001). Coverage remained near universal for those age ≥65 years (99.5%). For adults age 18–64 years, coverage increased for almost all subgroups and significantly for men; non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Hispanics; those who were married; those with less than or more than a high school education, family income <$35,000, or diabetes duration <5 or >15 years; and those taking oral agents (P < 0.05 for all). Among adults age 18–64 years, Medicaid coverage significantly increased between 2009 and 2016 (19.4% vs. 24.3%, P = 0.006), and for those with private insurance, 7.8% acquired their plan through For adults age ≥65 years, private insurance decreased and Medicare Part D increased (P < 0.007 for both). Among those age 18–64 years with an income <$35,000, the proportion of income spent on family medical costs decreased (6.3% vs. 4.8% for 2009 vs. 2016, respectively; P = 0.004).


Health insurance coverage among adults with diabetes age 18–64 years increased significantly after implementation of the ACA, and medical costs to families decreased among those with lower incomes.

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