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How Trends in the Health Care System Affect Low-Income Adults: Identifying Access Problems and Financial Burdens

As policymakers focus on strategies to improve health insurance coverage, this brief highlights findings from the Kaiser Low-Income Coverage and Access Survey on the current role that insurance plays in facilitating access to care for low-income adults and in protecting against financial burdens. Findings demonstrate that health insurance is a critical lever to open the door to health care services for low-income adults. Uninsured low-income adults often experience health problems, but are more likely than those with insurance to forgo care or go into debt to pay for health care. The scope of coverage matters for insured low-income adults and some, particularly those with health problems, have difficulty shouldering out-of-pocket health care costs.

Issue Brief (.pdf)