Six Reasons to Celebrate the Affordable Care Act’s Sixth Anniversary

By William Tomasko

Get the cake. Light the candles. It’s time to wish the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a happy birthday!

Six years ago this week, on March 23, 2010, the president signed the Affordable Care Act into law. And since our founding as an organization, we’ve been proud to work to help maximize the number of people who get covered and stay covered.

To help celebrate the ACA’s sixth anniversary, we’ve put together this list of six ways the ACA has changed America’s health coverage landscape for the better:

  1. 20 million Americans have gained health insurance. As of February, a study from the Department of Health and Human Services found that 20 million people gained coverage that they wouldn’t have had without the ACA.
  1. There’s financial help to get covered with lower costs. More than 4 out of 5 of the 12.7 million people who’ve signed up in the marketplaces have qualified for financial help. And the number of people covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program has gone up by a whopping 14.5 million!
  1. Even if they have pre-existing conditions, people can still get covered. Thanks to the ACA, people can sign up for health insurance through the marketplaces even if they’ve been unable to before because they have pre-existing conditions.
  1. In-person enrollment help is available. Navigators, Certified Application Counselors, agents, brokers, and other trained and certified enrollment assisters offer free face-to-face application assistance. In fact, our data shows that people who start their application with an assister are nearly 60 percent likelier to enroll successfully.
  1. After they get covered, people are taking action to stay covered. New health plans and new prices are available every year on the marketplaces. In response, this year, more than half of all people who re-enrolled through the marketplaces took action to consider whether another plan might be a better fit.
  1. And a community has come together to help people get covered and stay covered. From faith groups and food banks to community colleges and health centers, local organizations are teaming up to get the job done. They’re reaching out to people who can get covered, giving those consumers the support they need throughout the enrollment process, and helping them stay covered.

 That’s just the tip of the iceberg. From the ACA’s nondiscrimination protections to new opportunities for entrepreneurs and independent contractors, there are countless reasons to celebrate.

And of course there’s more to do to make sure the new health coverage options reach as many people as possible. In the years ahead — for more and more ACA birthdays — we’re eager to continue working with our 6,700 partners to give communities the tools they need to connect people to coverage.

 

Interested in sharing the latest ACA outreach and enrollment best practices? Save your spot at the 2016 State of Enrollment conference May 11 – 13 in Washington, D.C.!

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