Providers need to be ready for more uninsured patients
Recently released US Census data found that the highest number of Americans are uninsured since the ACA was enacted in 2009. The number of uninsured rose by two million from 2017 to 2018. Included in this number is the increasing amount of uninsured children, which is estimated to be every one out of seven.
A question that has yet to be answered is how the 2019 roll-back of the ACA tax penalty for the uninsured will affect health insurance enrollment. While the tax penalty was still in effect in 2018, the census indicates the uninsured rate increased to 8.5% from 7.9% in 2017. Many believe this upward trend will continue (due to no tax penalty and higher insurance premiums). If that proves to be the case, the number of uninsured patients could rise to one out of every ten.
For healthcare providers that are already struggling with revenue management in the age of decreasing reimbursement, performance measure burdens, and in some cases new payment methodologies, the increasing amount of uninsured adds another level of complexity.