Affordable Care Act slashed the uninsured rate among people with diabetes

September 23, 2019

MADISON, WIS. - The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided health insurance for an estimated 1.9 million people with diabetes, according to a newly published study.

In 2009 and 2010, 17 percent of adults who were under the age of 65 and had diabetes were uninsured. After the ACA took effect, that percentage declined by 12 percentage points and by 27 percentage points among those with low income.

Coverage gains were particularly strong among people whose diabetes was undiagnosed. In 2009 and 2010, approximately one in four adults under age 65 with undiagnosed diabetes lacked health insurance coverage. After the ACA was implemented, the uninsured rate in this group dropped by 17 percentage points to eight percent.

Rebecca Myerson, assistant professor of population health sciences at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, was the principal author of the study, which was conducted while she was on the faculty at the School of Pharmacy and Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California. The findings were published in the journal Diabetes Care.

The research team analyzed information from 11 years of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which gathers data that are nationally representative of the civilian population. The biennial survey includes biomarkers, including HbA1c, a measure of blood-sugar control. Using the NHANES data allowed the researchers to identify those with undiagnosed diabetes.

The sample used in the study included 2400 US citizens (ages 26-64) with diabetes, defined as an HbA1c level at or greater than 6.5 percent or a diabetes diagnosis by a health-care professional. Prior studies have found that about one-third of all U.S. adults with diabetes do not know they have it.

"Insurance coverage can change the health trajectory of people with diabetes by providing access to diagnosis and treatment," said Myerson. "But just as importantly, increasing coverage rates can also enhance health equity, because people with undiagnosed or untreated diabetes disproportionately belong to underserved groups."

The researchers estimate that, of the 1.9 million people with diabetes who gained coverage under the ACA, 1.2 million had low income (defined in the study as below 138 percent of the federal poverty level).
-end-
Myerson has received grant funding from Bristol-Myers Squibb for other research. Two other members of the research team also reported honoraria or research funding from various companies. The team had full access to all of the data in the study.

The full study can be found here after the embargo lifts: https://care.diabetesjournals.org/lookup/doi/10.2337/DC19-0081.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.