Panel Paper: Examining ACA Implementation in Colorado and its Effect on Health Care Utilization, Health Status and Access to Care

Saturday, November 4, 2017
Acapulco (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Michael Hatch, American University

This study explores the impact of the ACA on measures related to insurance coverage, health care utilization, health status, and health access for adults in Colorado. Using data from Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS) ,a repeated cross-sectional survey that spans pre ad post-ACA time periods, I employ a difference-in-difference analytic strategy to test whether the rate of preventative care and emergency room care changed for adults (aged 19-64), compared with seniors 65 and over who were largely outside the scope of the ACA. I repeat this analysis for measures of health status and health care access. Overall I find no significant effects of the ACA on use of preventative or ED care or on health status. I do find evidence suggesting that the ACA reduced cost barriers to visiting doctors, dentists and specialists, and that it significantly increased the likelihood that a state resident visited a specialist. A plan for extending the analysis is also provided. This study contributes to the burgeoning literature on the effects of the ACA and potential consequences if further efforts at health care reform