PAN releases new report on healthcare reform and its implications on the underinsured

Patient Access Network Foundation is pleased to announce the release of a report focused on healthcare reform and the anticipated increasing role of co-pay foundations. The report focuses on the changing healthcare landscape across public and private payers and one of the anticipated outcomes; increasing the underinsured.

The passage of sweeping healthcare reform legislation is expected to extend health insurance to most Americans beginning in 2014. One of the primary goals of the legislation is to provide access to competitively priced health insurance options. While the expansion of insurance access (primarily through the development of state-run exchanges and increased Medicaid eligibility requirements) will provide health insurance options to a population currently priced out of insurance, there is expected to be an increase in the number of underinsured Americans as a result. The underinsured are generally defined as persons with health insurance who cannot afford their out-of-pocket costs is estimated at 25 million currently.

The majority of those Americans currently uninsured are likely to be shifted to the state-run exchanges. The participating health plans within the exchanges are required to offer five different levels of coverage. Each level of coverage carries different patient financial responsibility levels. While having health insurance will be a significant improvement, there are concerns that the newly insured persons will (1) not fully understand their responsibility based on their plan choice and (2) face significant out-of-pocket costs.

As the underinsured population continues to increase, the assistance provided by PAN and its donors will become even more critical to ensure continued access to high-cost medical therapies. PAN is dedicated to working with our partners to evolve the Foundation’s support offerings to assist the newly emerging demographic. While the impact of healthcare reform changes will not be fully realized until 2014, it is crucial for PAN to begin adopting systems and structures to respond fully to the needs of the underinsured. To find an executive summary of this report please click here, you may also read the full report by clicking this link.