By PAUL RIEBER and ALAN SASSMANAALABERMAN The Associated Press / Reuters NEW YORK — For a time, it was the only place to get high.
But in mid-February, the first day the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance mandate went into effect, people were turning to their local beauty parlors for a more convenient, cheaper alternative to buying their health insurance on their own.
“I would say about 90% of the time, there were fewer people who were going to get a prescription from the doctor because of the coverage,” said Jennifer Sauer, 26, of Brooklyn.
A recent survey of more than 2,000 women and 2,300 men by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that of the more than 800 health care clinics that opened in March, only half said they would continue to serve the roughly 4 million people who now use them.
Many of the new clinics have closed, leaving them empty and with fewer people to help them.
So the question now is: Can you do it all over again?
In a state with one of the nation’s highest rates of preventable death, the answer is a resounding yes.
A new study from the University of Southern California finds that New York has the fifth-highest rate of preventative care in the nation and among the highest in the country.
And, as of this month, nearly 2 million people have gained coverage through the law.
It’s an outcome that has become increasingly common in New York and across the country as insurance coverage for the uninsured has declined.
“The more people who get coverage, the less chance they have to be uninsurable,” said Stephanie Pfeffer, the executive director of the Institute for the Study of the American Economy, which conducts research on health care and other issues.
“That’s really why we need these programs, because it gives them access to quality care.”
Among the findings: The vast majority of New Yorkers with private health insurance are not using the programs.
In fact, they have been dropping out.
They are not seeing their premiums go down because they are not having to pay more out of pocket for care.
And in many cases, they are seeing their costs go down.
Among people who are insured, the majority are staying insured at least through the end of the mandate, the report found.
But the program has also been working in a different way.
The most significant difference is that the state’s new health insurance exchanges are not allowing people to stay on the insurance until they are fully insured.
And people who do not get insurance before March 31 will lose the coverage they got before.
For those who do, the state plans to cover up to 90% or more of their costs.
Those who lose coverage will pay about 60% or less of the premium for the year, depending on age and health status.
It is a change that will make the program more affordable and, in some cases, easier to use.
“If people are getting care at the time they’re getting care, the price of that care is going down,” said Paul Gebhardt, who works in insurance and is director of policy and research at the Kaiser Foundation.
“And if people are paying a little more, that means people are going to be more likely to get care in good times.”
The new plan is the most significant change since the Affordable Healthcare Act was passed in 2010.
The mandate to purchase health insurance for most Americans was implemented Jan. 1, 2014, with the goal of making health care more affordable for everyone, including the poor and working class.
It made health care available to all, regardless of income or ability.
But for the first time in history, the law mandated that insurers offer coverage for a certain set of services, including prescription drugs, dental services, vision and hearing aids, and emergency care.
The law was a key part of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, which he pledged to keep on track as he left office.
But health care costs have surged in the last few years, and many insurers have seen their profits plummet.
The federal government paid insurers a total of $9.5 billion in 2015 for the cost of covering everyone, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
That was more than twice as much as it paid insurers in 2010, the year before the Affordable Act took effect.
Under the ACA, insurers had to cover 80% of all health care expenses for people 65 and older and for people with pre-existing conditions.
But because they had to spend much less, insurers were able to reduce the premium they paid.
The Kaiser Family Foundations report, titled “New York’s Health Insurance Market: Health Insurance Expansion and Health Reform: What Works?” found that the number of people getting coverage was on track to drop by more than 10 million people in 2026, the last year for which there is data.
The authors noted that a large part of the drop in the number who were covered was due to a spike in the