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Healthcare: Is the Affordable Care Act Making a Difference?

A middle aged male doctor showing an older patient his chest x-ray to portray how to find affordable health insurance in Phoenix

Has the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) made a real difference in ensuring that more people have healthcare insurance?

Before the Affordable Care Act was enacted in October 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the number of uninsured Americans was around 42 million people or about 13.4 percent of the U.S. population in all age groups.

Obamacare facts about uninsured people:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • 41 million people, or 13.1 percent of the population, were uninsured during the first quarter of 2014. (This represents the lowest number and percentage of uninsured people since the CDC started using this survey 17 years ago).
  • From the end of 2013, uninsured numbers are down 3.8 million people.
  • Working-age adults without health coverage dropped from 20.4 percent at the end of 2013 to 18.4 percent during the first three quarters of 2014.

A report from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Harvard School of Public Health states 10 million people gained coverage since last year. It’s estimated that 12 million people will obtain health insurance by the end of 2014.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services stated that 6.8 million consumers nationwide will receive a total of $332.2 million in refunds due to over-billing by insurers. In addition, consumers:

  • Saved $9 billion on health-insurance premiums since 2011.
  • Saved $3.8 billion in savings up front on 2013 premiums.

A study by the New England Journal of Medicine reports that the percentage of adults that were uninsured decreased by almost 20% when Obamacare enrollment closed at the end of March.

According to the White House’s website:

  • 105 million Americans no longer have lifetime dollar limits on their coverage.
  • More than 17.6 million children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage.

Projections from the Congressional Budget Office

  • During the open enrollment period, 7 million additional people who currently don’t have coverage will gain it.
  • In 10 years, 31 million people will not have health insurance; 25 million fewer than if the Affordable Care Act hadn’t been enacted (represents 11 percent of the population).

2014 Open Enrollment for Obamacare Around the corner

The upcoming Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act starts in November 2014. During Open Enrollment, individuals can apply for a 2015 Marketplace plan, keep their current plan, or pick a new one under the Affordable Care Act.

There are four important dates to be aware of:

  • November 15, 2014. Open Enrollment begins. Apply for, keep, or change coverage.
  • December 15, 2014. If new coverage that will begin on January 1, 2015 is wanted, enroll by the 15th. If a plan is changing or being switched, enroll by the 15th to avoid a break in coverage.
  • December 31, 2014. Coverage ends for 2014 plans. Coverage for 2015 plans can start as soon as January 1st.
  • February 15, 2015. This is the last day to apply for 2015 coverage before the end of Open Enrollment.

As more people seek out the benefits of Obamacare, uninsured numbers will continue to drop. For more information regarding healthcare insurance, give us a call.

Do you have health insurance? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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