Public Release: 

Better insurance access hasn't eliminated cost barriers to post-stroke meds

Thursday News Tip Presentation 134 -- Session: A24

American Heart Association

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2018 -- Despite federal programs to improve the availability of medical insurance, drug costs still keep more than one in ten stroke survivors from obtaining their recommended medications, putting them at risk of another stroke, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2018, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.

Researchers examined the impact of the Affordable Care Act, which gave more individuals the option of purchasing health insurance and gave states the option of expanding eligibility for Medicaid, on the proportion of stroke survivors who are unable to afford their medication.

Using information from the National Health Interview Survey, researchers found that the percentage of young stroke survivors (aged 45-64) who were uninsured fell 53 percent, from 15 percent to 7 percent, between 2010 and 2015. This change was accompanied by an increase in Medicaid coverage from 24 percent to 31 percent.

However, the percentage of young stroke patients who did not obtain recommended medications due to cost concerns did not change significantly from 2010 to 2015. About 21 percent of younger stroke survivors and 8 percent of stroke survivors 65 and older reported that cost prevented them from taking recommended medications in 2015.

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Study author Deborah A. Levine, M.D., M.P.H. receives support from the National Institutes of Health.

Deborah A. Levine, M.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Presentation location: Room 515B

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