In early 2009, before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted, more than one in seven Americans was without health insurance. Now, six years after the signing of the ACA, President Obama has written a detailed analysis, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), highlighting the substantial progress made towards expanding access to affordable coverage.
The ACA’s focus on providing financial assistance to low- and moderate-income families to help them purchase health insurance has helped more than four out of five of the 12.7 million Americans that purchased marketplace coverage in 2016. Enroll America research has consistently found that the availability of financial help, like tax credits, has been one of the biggest motivators for consumers to get covered.
The ACA also requires all marketplace plans to cover ten essential health benefits, from emergency room visits to maternity care and preventive services. These comprehensive services now help protect families from large medical bills — a primary reason Americans are interested in getting covered.
And thanks to the ACA, people can sign up for health insurance through the marketplaces even if they’ve been previously denied due to a pre-existing condition. Additionally, the ACA has allowed young adults to stay on their parents’ plan until the age of 26 — expanding coverage to 2.3 million young adults.
In total, there are 20 million fewer uninsured Americans today than there were in 2013 before the law’s major coverage provisions were implemented!
Notwithstanding the numerous improvements in access and affordability, the President acknowledged that more needs to be done to connect the remaining uninsured to coverage, and to ensure that consumers continue to have affordable choices on the marketplace.
In the coming weeks, Enroll America will be releasing our recommendations for the next presidential administration on how to improve access to affordable coverage for all Americans, and we will continue to work with partners well into 2018 using lessons learned from the past three years to maximize enrollment.
To read President Obama’s full report, click here.