WEDNESDAY, May 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Disruptions in insurance coverage have adverse consequences for care access, receipt, and affordability, according to a study published online May 24 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

K. Robin Yabroff, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues identified adults aged 18 to 64 years with current private, public, or no insurance coverage (124,746; 30,932; and 31,802, respectively) from the 2011 to 2018 National Health Interview Survey. The correlations of having coverage disruptions or being uninsured with care access, receipt, and affordability were examined.

The researchers found that among those with current private or current public coverage, compared with continuous coverage, disruptions were associated with lower receipt of all preventive services (adjusted odds ratios, 0.42 and 0.48, respectively), with forgoing any needed care because of cost (adjusted odds ratios, 4.79 and 4.28, respectively), and with medication nonadherence due to cost (adjusted odds ratios, 3.55 and 4.09, respectively). Among currently uninsured adults, longer disruptions were significantly associated with worse care access, receipt, and affordability, with evidence of dose-response patterns. Compared with currently insured adults with coverage disruptions or continuous coverage, currently uninsured adults, especially those with longer uninsured periods, reported significantly worse care access, receipt, and affordability.

“Findings highlight the importance of continuous insurance coverage; disruptions owing to the COVID-19 pandemic will likely have adverse consequences for care access and affordability,” the authors write.

Three authors disclosed receiving funding from AstraZeneca for an unrelated project.

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