- In the six years since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented, the number of uninsured Americans has dropped to the lowest level on record, according to a new report from HHS.
- Among Medicare beneficiaries, hospital readmissions decreased by 8%; in all but one state, the rate of hospital readmissions was reduced.
- The expansion of the Medicaid program is responsible for increasing the number of people with healthcare coverage by approximately 15.7 million, with more than 500,000 individuals receiving all the care they needed, the report stated.
With the future of the ACA in question, HHS released new data demonstrating the legislation’s effectiveness in reducing the uninsured rate and improving care while reining in the high cost of premiums. The data indicate under the ACA, the number of Americans with health insurance increased substantially, and their insurance is both more affordable and more comprehensive.
Although employer-sponsored coverage was affected by the ACA, the most dramatic improvements were seen in the Medicaid and Medicare programs. In addition to the Medicaid program translating to 5,000 fewer avoidable deaths annually, 625,000 fewer Medicaid beneficiaries struggled to pay their medical bills, according to HHS.
Thanks to the lower rate of hospital readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries, patients avoided returning to the hospital unnecessarily after being discharged an estimated 565,000 times since 2010. Medicare beneficiaries are also taking advantage of free preventive services, which are known to reduce the likelihood of hospital admissions.
HHS’s estimates indicate that since 2010, 20 million Americans, including 6 million people ages 19 to 25, have obtained health insurance as a result of the ACA. Data show coverage improvements across socioeconomic, racial, ethnic and age groups, suggesting that the law has had an equalizing effect on healthcare access.