Under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), the number of hospitalizations for the non-elderly adults stayed essentially at the same level over a three-year study conducted in Michigan by the University of Michigan. There was also a significant drop in the number of uninsured patients seeking treatment at hospitals making them worry a lot less about going uncompensated after treating uninsured patients, who aren’t financially able to pay for their treatment or hospitalization costs.
One study found that unpaid hospital care costs declined by nearly $6 billion nationwide in 2014, with almost all of the decreases occurring in Medicaid expansion states. The total savings represent a 17% decrease in national healthcare costs from 2013, the year before Medicaid expansions took place. Conversely, another study found that the federal forecast of national health care spending under the ACA was off by $2.6 trillion over a five-year period! With more Americans having health coverage and greater access to medical care, the country as a whole is spending less money than expected, and will continue doing so for at least the next several years.
Currently, the cost of healthcare for a family of four with employer-sponsored insurance stands at around $25,826, up from $8,414 in 2001. But a recent Gallup survey shows that Americans feel that they are in a position to afford the bills and that the ACA has played a major role in bringing health care insecurity down. As witness, we find that:
[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]
Three years into the implementation of national health reform under the ACA, some consumers still hesitate to take on the cost of health insurance, while others staunchly believe that they wouldn’t be eligible for coverage anyway.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 20 million consumers have gained health coverage under the ACA, but another 10.5 million who would be eligible for subsidies and extra help that could greatly reduce their costs for a qualified health plan or make them eligible for Medicaid still remain uninsured.
The ACA has provided low-cost coverage options to many Americans near the bottom on the income ladder, notably through a major expansion of Medicaid which covers many previously ineligible persons with free or inexpensive care. Also, there’s a sharper edge to the message this year for those who are still reluctant to get coverage and don’t recognize that there is help out there for them, if they’re willing to get insured or if they want to avoid facing a larger tax penalty.
Here are some reasons why some people still don’t have healthcare coverage:
When plans which start at $55 but have $6,000 deductibles, the policy becomes useless to someone who earns $18,000-$20,000 as there’s no way they can spend that much to be able to use it. That’s why there are still some people who find that they can “afford” neither the time nor the money for the “Affordable” Care! But according to the studies, the majority have not only been convinced but actually converted to accepting its benefits.
What are your thoughts on the ACA? Pro? Con? Why?
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