For three reasons, broad access to coverage and getting better value out of our health system are inseparable, intertwined policy objectives.
Therefore, we need to harmonize these policy spheres if we are to reach our nation’s shared goal of access to quality healthcare for all and efficient spending.
Cost is the most common reason cited for being uninsured.4 States should consider the following policy approaches:
1. Uninsured people are Less likely to receive medical care; More likely to die early; More likely to have poor health status: What Is the Link Between Having Health Insurance and Getting Adequate Health Care?, August 1, 2011, RWJF Health Policy Snapshot Series. Moreover, underinsured people behave like uninsured people, often failing to get needed healthcare: Collins, Gunja, Doty, How Well Does Insurance Coverage Protect Consumers from Health Care Costs? Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2016, Commonwealth Fund, October 2017.
2. Jeremy P. Ziring, et al., Coverage Expansion and Delivery System Reform in the Safety Net: Two Sides of the Same Coin, NEJM Catalyst, October 18, 2017
4. Tolbert, Jennifer, et al., "Key Facts About the Uninsured Population," Kaiser Family Foundation (December 2019).