Since 2011, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires the provision of certain recommended clinical preventive services without cost-sharing for individuals in traditional Medicare. We re-visited the effects of the ACA on preventive services utilization under Medicare, using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and examined the ACA’s longer-term effects on preventive services utilization among Medicare beneficiaries. We analyzed nationally representative data on non-institutionalized Medicare beneficiaries (n = 27,124) from the 2006-2010 and 2012-2016 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Preventive services of interest were cholesterol test, blood pressure test, flu shot, endoscopy, blood stool test, clinical breast exam, mammography and prostate exam. We estimated propensity score weighted difference-in-difference (DID) models to test for differences in preventive services utilization based on Medicare insurance status. Nationwide, among beneficiaries with traditional Medicare only, who stood to gain the most from eliminating cost-sharing for preventive services, the percentage of women receiving clinical breast exams rose post-reform (Δ = 8.1%; p  0.05). Based on this analysis of MEPS data spanning 2006-2016, the ACA’s enhancement of Medicare coverage had only modest effects on the percentage of beneficiaries receiving a range of preventive services. Medicare beneficiaries should be better informed of the availability of these services and encouraged by their physicians to avail the no cost-sharing incentive of these reforms.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.