"Insurance coverage can change the health trajectory of people with diabetes by providing access to diagnosis and treatment," said lead researcher Rebecca Myerson. She is an assistant professor of population health sciences at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
"But just as importantly, increasing coverage rates can also enhance health equity, because people with undiagnosed or untreated diabetes disproportionately belong to underserved groups," Myerson added in a university news release.
Before the ACA, also mown as Obamacare, 17% of adults under 65 with diabetes had no health insurance, the study found. After the health care reform law was passed in 2010, the number of uninsured diabetics dropped 12 percentage points. Among those with low incomes, the drop was 27 percentage points, the researchers noted.
Among those with undiagnosed diabetes, 1 in 4 adults under age 65 had no insurance before the ACA. After the ACA, the rate of the uninsured in this group dropped 17 percentage points, to 8%.
For the study, researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, on 2,400 men and women aged 26 to 64 with diabetes. Earlier studies have found that about 33% of people with diabetes are not aware they have it.
The report was published Sept. 23 in the journal Diabetes Care.