While the study also concluded that more research would be needed to prove this relationship, their findings and logic do point to this being the case. Further, this isn’t the first study that has shown this correlation. You can see another take on the matter from ConsumerReports.org’s “How the Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcy.”
In general the logic of the Consumer reports data works like this, there was a reduction in total bankruptcies from 2010 to 2016, and with the knowledge that medical debt is a top cause of bankruptcy, the conclusion was the ACA contributed to the reduction of bankruptcies.
This new study seems to draw the same conclusion using more recent data. Although again, neither study proved unequivocally that the ACA was a direct cause, so while notable… more research is needed.
From the study:
Our study adds to, and advances, the existing literature by finding that the ACA has had an important role on the relationship between intermittent health care coverage and the risk of filing for bankruptcy protection. Stated differently, our findings suggest that by more robustly providing health insurance coverage for low-income Americans, the ACA has had some effect on the risk of filing for bankruptcy protection. Our preliminary findings suggest that the ACA may lower one’s risk for bankruptcy, particularly for those in the lowest income group in the country. This is a significant finding in assisting to answer the question of whether the ACA is working as a matter of federal law.