Kansas State University


Issues in Health Reform

How well is ACA doing getting the uninsured insured? Better than the press tells you.

What about all of those newly insured numbers? While it take many years to evaluate all of the impacts of ACA on insurance status, and certainly on the true impact of having insurance on health status, the numbers of newly insureds are impressive. As of January 15, 2014 there are almost 11.6 million Americans who have health insurance who did not have it before ACA. Almost 2.2 million people have enrolled for new insurance policies through the Exchanges. Almost 1.6 million have been added to state Medicaid rolls. And approximately 7.8 million young adults (under age 26 ) have already been added to their parents’ employer sponsored health insurance plans because of the ACA requirement that employer sponsored family plans expand coverage. This last group is often not cited when considering the success of ACA in getting previously uninsured people insured. Most of the articles focus on how successful the Exchanges are in getting the uninsured into those private plans. They also seem to ignore the success in getting individuals into state Medicaid programs. Almost 12 million folks newly insured has to be counted as a success for ACA accomplishing one of its major goals…to get uninsured folks insured.

Health Exchange Enrollment Picked Up in December, By HAEYOUN PARK, DEREK WATKINS and WILSON ANDREWSJAN. 13, 2014, NY Times.
Covering Young Adults Under the Affordable Care Act: The Importance of Outreach and Medicaid Expansion Findings from the Commonwealth Fund, Health Insurance Tracking Survey of Young Adults, 2013
Sara R. Collins, Petra W. Rasmussen, Tracy Garber, and Michelle M. Doty, August 2013.

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