Obama cares about making health insurance affordable. That’s why ACA offers health insurance subsidies to those with qualifying incomes, and why caps are set for health care plan premiums. Obama’s goal for passing the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ACA or Obama Care) in 2010, was to make health insurance more accessible to a greater percentage of the population. So is it working? Are post-Obama care plans now more accessible than health care plans pre-Obama?
Health insurance statistics are being gathered by different agencies, and those investigations are yielding widely different results. However, they all agree that more people are covered by health insurance today than were covered before Obama Care went into effect. North Carolina is no exception. Thousands more North Carolinian residents are covered by health insurance now than pre-Obama, and the ACA seems to be the reason.
National Health Insurance Statistics1:
- 3 million adults have gained health insurance coverage since the first Annual Open Enrollment in October 2013.
- The national uninsured rate has declined from 20.3 percent to 12.6 percent — a 38 percent reduction.
- 3 million additional young adults (aged 19-25) gained health insurance coverage as a result of ACA allow young adults to stay on a parent’s health insurance plan until age 26.
North Carolina Health Insurance Statistics:
- By February 22, 2015, 560,357 NC residents had shopped on the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace2.
- Of the 560,357 residents who selected an Obama Care plan, 51% were first-time enrollees3.
- By June 30, 2015, only 459,714 NC residents remained actively enrolled in Obama Care plans4.
- 92% of those NC residents enrolled in Obama Care plans qualify for subsidies5.
For those who have qualifying incomes (from 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level), Obama Care has made health insurance significantly more affordable. Often an individual or family can qualify for a tax credit that allows them to obtain coverage that would be unaffordable without financial assistance. That type of affordability has certainly impacted health insurance enrollment in a big way!
But affordability is only one contributing factor to the success of post-Obama health care plans. Availability is contributing to the overall increase in the number of people nationwide, and in North Carolina, who have been able to obtain health insurance. Pre-existing conditions no longer drive interested consumers away from the insurance market. As a result of ACA, people who could not find an issuer to provide insurance at any price are now able to acquire coverage during an annual open enrollment period and cannot be turned down for due to an existing illness.
In addition, children can be added to their parents’ plans until they turn 26 years old. That has resulted in extended coverage for a large number of youth who would otherwise have aged off of their parents’ plans much sooner and not have obtained health insurance on their own.
In North Carolina, the number of uninsured residents is decreasing as a result of the increased affordability and availability of health insurance plans under Obama Care.
1U.S. DHHS, ASPE, Health Insurance Coverage and the Affordable Care Act, pub. Sept. 22, 2015
2 KFF, Monthly Marketplace Statistics, pub. Feb. 22, 2015
3KFF, Marketplace Enrollees by Enrollment Type, pub. Feb. 22, 2015
4KFF, Marketplace Enrollment as a Share of the Potential Marketplace Population, pub. June 30, 2015
5KFF, Total Marketplace Enrollment and Financial Assistance, pub. June 30, 2015