Patients whose health is insured under marketplaces created via the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka “Obamacare”) have become acutely cost conscious when it comes to their own care—to the extent that they may not be getting the care they need, according to a new survey. While that paints a picture of a dysfunctional system, urgent care may be reaping some rewards as patients seek out quality care that won’t cost them as much as a trip to the emergency room or specialist practice. Fully half of people who buy health plans through government-run ACA marketplaces say they cut back on healthcare services because of financial concerns. By comparison, 33% of people with other forms of insurance report scaling back on healthcare to manage costs. That same survey, by the marketing and customer service firm GfK, notes that ACA customers with an income of less than $25,000 annually are much more likely to visit urgent care centers or other walk-in facilities.
High Cost of Care Elsewhere May Be Nudging ACA Patients to Urgent Care