Affordable Care Act: UPDATED NUMBERS TO KNOW


UPDATED numbers to know

Expanded Coverage:

  • Due to the ACA, the uninsured rate has dropped significantly. According to Gallup, the uninsured rate among adults dropped from 16.1 percent in March 2010 (when the ACA was enacted) to 10.9 percent in Nov. 2016 – a drop of 5.2 percentage points.  However, under President Trump’s ACA sabotage, the uninsured rate has creeped back up to 12.2 percent between Nov. 2016 and Dec. 2017.  [Vox]
  • Overall, 20 million previously uninsured Americans gained health insurance coverage since enactment of the Affordable Care Act, between 2010 and 2016. [HHS]
  • Of the 20 million previously uninsured Americans who gained health coverage, 1 million are young adults ages 19 to 25. [HHS] 
  • Despite the active sabotage of the ACA Marketplaces by President Trump, 8 million individuals have signed up for coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplaces in 2018 – only slightly below earlier years. [NASHP] 

Benefits for the More Than 150 Million Americans With Employer-Based Coverage

  • An end to annual and lifetime limits: Before the ACA, 105 million Americans, most of them with employer coverage, had a lifetime limit on their insurance policy.  The ACA prohibits annual and lifetime limits on policies.  [HHS]
  • Slower premium growth: Since enactment of the ACA, health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years, resulting in savings for those with employer-based coverage.  The average premium for family employer-based coverage rose only 3.4 percent in 2016 – compared to an average rate of 7.9 percent from 2000 to 2010.  Indeed, family premiums are $3,600 lower today than if growth had continued at the pre-ACA rates.  [CEA]
  • A cap on out-of-pocket costs: Due to the ACA, all health plans now have limits on out-of-pocket costs, benefiting 22 million Americans with employer coverage who lacked this protection prior to the ACA.  [CEA]
  • Free preventive care: Under the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services – like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no extra cost to consumers, benefiting 137 million Americans, most of whom with employer coverage. [HHS]
  • Coverage for young adults: An estimated 2.3 million young adults have benefited from the ACA provision allowing kids to stay on their parents’ health insurance up to age 26. [HHS]

Benefits for Seniors in Medicare:

  • A stronger Medicare: Since the enactment of the ACA, the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by 12 years.   [HHS]
  • Lower costs for prescription drugs for seniors: Nearly 12 million seniors have saved more than $26 billion on their prescription drugs since 2010 – an average savings of more than $2,200 per senior.   [CMS]
  • Free preventive services: 1 million seniors in Medicare took advantage of at least one preventive service with no copays or deductibles in 2016. [CMS]

Benefits for the More Than 10 Million Americans in ACA Marketplaces:

  • Tax credits available to help make coverage more affordable: Before the ACA, only those with employer coverage generally got tax benefits to help pay for health insurance. Now, about 9 million moderate- and middle-income Americans in the ACA Marketplaces receive tax credits averaging $300 per month to help them afford coverage. [HHS] 
  • No discrimination against pre-existing conditions: Up to 129 million Americans have a pre-existing condition.  Before the ACA, this group could have been denied coverage or charged an exorbitant premium if they needed individual market insurance.  Now, health insurance companies cannot discriminate against people based on their medical history.  [HHS]   
  • Better coverage: All plans now have to cover essential health benefits like mental health services and maternity care.  Before the ACA, only 12 percent of individual market plans covered maternity care. [NWLC] 
  • No more discrimination against women: Before the ACA, women were often charged more than men just because of their gender.  That is now illegal thanks to the ACA, protecting roughly half of all Americans. [HHS] 
  • Transparency and choice: Before the ACA, consumers used to struggle to compare individual market plans and prices.  Thanks to the ACA, they can now shop for coverage on a transparent market, choosing among an average of 30 plans on Healthcare.gov. [HHS]

Savings for Taxpayers:

  • Over the last few years, health care costs have been growing at the slowest rate in over 50 years – benefiting taxpayers and consumers. [CEA]
  • Due to slower cost growth, Medicare spent $473 billion less from 2009 through 2014 than it would have if pre-ACA spending trends had continued. [HHS]
  • $27.8 billion has been recovered for taxpayers from stepped-up anti-fraud efforts in Medicare and other health programs under the ACA. [HHS]

Improved Quality:

 

  • Under the ACA, unnecessary hospital readmissions in Medicare have fallen for the first time on record, dropping 8 percent between 2010 and 2015. Cumulatively since 2010, Medicare beneficiaries have avoided 565,000 hospital readmissions.  [HHS] 
  • 125,000 lives and nearly $28 billion have been saved, due to a 21 percent reduction in hospital-acquired conditions, such as infections, from 2010 to 2015, under the ACA. [AHRQ] 
  • In 2016, in a survey, 82 percent of consumers in Marketplace plans or newly insured under Medicaid due to the ACA expressed satisfaction with their coverage. [Commonwealth Fund]

ACA & The Economy:

  • The private sector has added 18.2 million jobs in 95 consecutive months of private-sector job growth since the Affordable Care Act became law, the longest uninterrupted private-sector job growth on record. [BLS]
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