HealthDay News — The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided care to an estimated 1.9 million people with diabetes, according to a research letter published online Sept. 23 in Diabetes Care.

Rebecca Myerson, MPH, PhD, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues used data from the 2005 to 2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to estimate the full changes in insurance coverage under the ACA for adults with diabetes, including undiagnosed diabetes. The sample included 2401 nonpregnant US citizens aged 26 to 64 years with diabetes.

The researchers found that 17% of nonelderly adults with diabetes, including 33% of those with low income, were uninsured in 2009 to 2010. Adjusted uninsured rates decreased by 12% after ACA implementation among nonelderly adults with diabetes and by 27% among those with low income. When applied to the nonelderly population of 2015 to 2016, 1.9 million additional people (1.2 million with low income) were estimated to have gained health insurance after ACA implementation. After implementation of the ACA, there was a 17% decrease in adjusted uninsured rates among people with undiagnosed diabetes compared with an 11% decline for people with diagnosed diabetes.

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“Our estimates of the total coverage gains among people with diabetes after ACA implementation are informative of the potential losses in coverage that might occur under reversal of policy,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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