The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented with the goal of expanding coverage and improving quality, affordability and efficiency in health insurance coverage. Furthermore, this act seeks to decrease barriers to care while improving patient health outcomes.
Reforms under the Affordable Care Act have significantly made individual health insurance market much more accessible, enabling millions of more Americans to gain affordable coverage. But some challenges still remain.
1. To reduce the number of uninsured Americans
The Affordable Care Act’s goals are to reduce the number of uninsured Americans, reduce pre-existing conditions and increase affordable health coverage. Since its passage, millions of Americans and their families have seen significant improvements in health due to improved access to coverage via health insurance exchanges, expansion of Medicaid coverage and subsidies that enable low-income individuals to purchase private health plans.
Since 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was implemented, over 20 million American have gained health coverage through the individual market. These gains have occurred at all income levels – children as well as adults – while disparities among races and ethnicities have narrowed considerably.
2. To reduce the number of people with pre-existing conditions
The Affordable Care Act’s goal is to decrease the prevalence of pre-existing conditions, increase access to affordable health insurance plans and make care more readily accessible. It makes getting health coverage simpler through new online marketplaces, tax credits for people with modest incomes and Medicaid expansion.
Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), people with pre-existing conditions were often denied coverage or charged higher premiums. Thanks to ACA provisions that made it more difficult for insurers to exclude them, guaranteed issue policies must now be issued to everyone who applies – providing vital protections for people living with pre-existing conditions.
3. To reduce the number of people with unaffordable health insurance
The Affordable Care Act’s primary goals were to expand access, affordability and acceptability of health insurance for all Americans, reduce medical costs overall and improve care quality.
The Affordable Care Act’s premium subsidies and other policy modifications have had considerable success in helping stabilize the individual market, yet average premiums remain too high for many who don’t qualify for tax credits.
Extending federal subsidies to individuals earning over 400% of the poverty line would assist many healthy individuals afford coverage in the individual market and maintain its stability; however, this would incur significant additional costs for the federal government.
4. To increase the number of people with affordable health insurance
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers premium tax credits (also referred to as subsidies) in order to assist individuals purchasing affordable health coverage on the individual market. These credits represent a portion of the difference between premiums and an income threshold amount for consumers whose income falls under 400 percent of federal poverty level.
However, millions of individuals still purchase plans without premium tax credits and do not meet eligibility requirements for subsidies – creating what’s known as a coverage gap.
The Affordable Care Act has made health coverage more accessible by lowering out-of-pocket health care costs for families and small businesses, and making deductibles and copays more reasonable.
5. To reduce the number of people with unaffordable health care
The Affordable Care Act’s goal is to decrease the number of individuals without access to affordable health care while improving its quality. This goal can be accomplished through changes to private insurance market structures, expansion of Medicaid eligibility and reforming how medical decisions are made.
The Affordable Care Act has proven incredibly successful at both lowering costs and expanding access to coverage for millions of Americans, with premiums at record low levels and enrollment levels on the rise.
The Affordable Care Act also offers financial aid to help individuals obtain affordable health insurance, such as premium tax credits. A family of four with average income qualifies for subsidized premiums of more than $1,000 monthly through these credits.