Coverage Gains Among Higher-Income People Suggest the ACA’s Individual Mandate Had Big Effects on Coverage

June 1, 2018

If the probability that the mandate caused an uninsured person to obtain coverage was the same at all income levels (with narrow exceptions described in the paper), then the paper’s estimates imply that the mandate reduced the number of uninsured people by 8.0 million in 2016, as reported in Table 5 of the paper. Even if the individual mandate’s effect on people with family incomes below 400 percent of the FPL was half as large, then the mandate reduced the overall number of uninsured people by 4.6 million in 2016.

via Coverage gains among higher-income people suggest the ACA’s individual mandate had big effects on coverage

Health Care Reform or More Affordable Health Care?

January 10, 2018

This article investigates the impact on the U.S. economy of making health care more affordable. We compare health care cost reductions with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) using a rich life cycle general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents. We evaluate a wide range of cost reductions ranging from 0.64% (realistic and feasible) to 29.5% (equivalence with OECD). Our results show that the ACA is more effective in reducing uninsured population than all cost reductions considered. This result holds throughout the life cycle and for the most fragile part of the population: the poorest, the less educated, and those with bad health. Realistic and feasible cost reductions are less welfare improving than the ACA. The increase of welfare induced by the reform is around 7.8 times higher than the increase provided by cost reductions. Besides, the poorer are more benefited than the richer after the reform, while the opposite occurs after cost reductions. Finally, to obtain the same welfare increase of the ACA, medical costs have to decrease by 5.21%, a very hard task. These results provide support for the ACA against opponents who might present cost reductions as alternatives.

via Health Care Reform or More Affordable Health Care? by Diego B. P. Gomes, Pedro Ferreira :: SSRN

2017’s City Uninsured Rates | WalletHub®

September 15, 2017

The national uninsured rate is on an upward trend this year, following a record low of 8.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016, according to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But how widely do the rates differ from city to city?

With U.S. health-care reform still in limbo, WalletHub’s analysts measured the uninsured rates for 547 U.S. cities and broke them down even further by age, income level and race. In addition, we conducted the same analysis at the state level. Read on for the complete ranking, a ranking by city size and a full description of our methodology.

Source: 2017’s City Uninsured Rates | WalletHub®

Uninsured Rate Soars for the Moderately Broke : CDC

September 4, 2017

This is how the uninsured rate data looked when CDC analysts reported separate uninsured rates for each income group:

Income under 100% of the federal poverty level, or $24,600 for a family of four in most of the country: The uninsured rate fell to 22.6%, from 24.7%.

Income from 100% to 138% of the federal poverty level: The uninsured rate fell to 23.9%, from 24.7%.

Income from 138% to 250% of the federal poverty level: The uninsured rate rose to 21.3%, from 19.1%.

Income from 250% to 400% of the federal poverty level: The uninsured rate rose to 12.3%, from 9.7%.

Source: Uninsured Rate Soars for the Moderately Broke : CDC

ACA Is Uninsuring the Insured | Mercatus Center

August 16, 2017

The number of people with individual health-insurance coverage is shrinking. Despite $146 billion in federal subsidies to low-income households and well-capitalized insurers, 2.6 million fewer people had individual policies in March 2017 than in March 2016, a drop of nearly 15 percent.

Source: ACA Is Uninsuring the Insured | Mercatus Center

Community Health Centers: Recent Growth and the Role of the ACA – Issue Brief – 8961 | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

February 6, 2017

In 2013, 65% of health center patients were insured (Figure 3) – 41% by Medicaid, 14% by private insurance, 8% by Medicare, and 2% by other public insurance. By 2015, 76% of health center patients had coverage – an increase of 11 percentage points. About half were covered by Medicaid, 17% by private insurance, 9% by Medicare, and 1% by other public insurance. These increases in coverage coincided with implementation of the ACA insurance expansions, which began January 1, 2014. The increased share of patients with Medicaid reflects the low-income communities served by health centers. The potential for gains in private insurance in these communities is more limited because of the high concentration of poverty and the fact that individuals with income below 100% FPL are not eligible for subsidies to purchase coverage in the ACA marketplaces.

Source: Community Health Centers: Recent Growth and the Role of the ACA – Issue Brief – 8961 | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

How Much of a Factor Is the Affordable Care Act in the Declining Uninsured Rate? – The Commonwealth Fund

February 1, 2017

Issue: While the number of uninsured has decreased substantially since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded coverage in 2014, questions remain about how much the economic recovery and other changes might have influenced this decline.

Goal: Assess the direct impact of the ACA marketplaces and the Medicaid expansion on the uninsured rate among nonelderly adults.

Methods: Analysis of insurance coverage rates before and after the ACA’s first open enrollment period (fall 2013 to spring 2014) using the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS).

Key findings: Based on NHIS data, enrollment in ACA-related coverage options explains about 76 percent of the 4-percentage-point decline in the uninsured rate during the first open enrollment period. Marketplace enrollments reduced the adult uninsured rate by an estimated 1.7 percentage points to 2.3 percentage points. The effects were substantially more pronounced among adults eligible for income-related subsidies. Medicaid expansions in participating states further reduced the uninsured rate by an estimated 0.76 points to 1.0 points.

Conclusion: The great majority of nonelderly adults who enrolled during the first open enrollment period would likely not have held health coverage without the ACA expansions.

Source: How Much of a Factor Is the Affordable Care Act in the Declining Uninsured Rate? – The Commonwealth Fund

Did Obamacare Really Insure 20 Million?

December 13, 2016

A recent analysis by The Heritage Foundation’s Edmund Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski uses the more accurate method, taking actual enrollment data from Medicaid and private insurance companies to assess the impact Obamacare has had on coverage.

The researchers found that just over 14 million people gained coverage from the end of 2013 to the end of 2015. Of those 14 million, 11.8 million gained their insurance through Medicaid and 2.2 million through private coverage.

Source: Did Obamacare Really Insure 20 Million?

Health Reform and Health Insurance Coverage of Early Retirees by Helen Levy, Tom Buchmueller, Sayeh Nikpay :: SSRN

December 6, 2016

This paper presents evidence of the dynamics of health insurance coverage between 2008 and 2014 among early retirees, defined as individuals ages 55 to 64 who are not in the labor force. We focus on three questions. First, how did insurance coverage change among early retirees in 2014, when the new ACA options became available, compared with trends in coverage from 2008 to 2013? Second, are there differences between states that did and did not implement the ACA’s Medicaid expansion in January 2014? Third, how did the income gradient in insurance coverage for early retirees change in 2014, both overall and in states with or without Medicaid expansion? We find that between 2013 and 2014, the fraction of early retirees without health insurance declined significantly from 14.7 percent to 11.2 percent, reversing a trend toward increasing uninsurance in recent years. This change was driven by increases in both Medicaid and private non-group coverage. Gains in coverage were larger in states that implemented the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion in January 2014 than in states that did not. The gains in coverage disproportionately benefited low-income early retirees, and therefore reduced the gradient in coverage with respect to income. There is no evidence of an acceleration of the decline in employer-sponsored coverage for early retirees, either overall or in states that expanded Medicaid. These results suggest that the major coverage provisions of the ACA have increased coverage among early retirees, with particularly large gains among those with very low income in states that expanded Medicaid.

Source: Health Reform and Health Insurance Coverage of Early Retirees by Helen Levy, Tom Buchmueller, Sayeh Nikpay :: SSRN

New Gruber Study Raises Major Questions About ACA’s Medicaid Expansion | Mercatus Center

November 30, 2016

A new study by Jonathan Gruber, one of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) chief economic architects, suggests that roughly two-thirds of new Medicaid enrollees in 2014 were eligible for the program under previous state eligibility criteria—meaning that they were not made eligible by the ACA. If accurate, then a much smaller share of new Medicaid enrollees were made eligible for the program by the ACA than Washington experts commonly believe. For example, the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) most recent projection is that only one of six new Medicaid enrollees were eligible for the program before the ACA.

Source: New Gruber Study Raises Major Questions About ACA’s Medicaid Expansion | Mercatus Center