More than 10 Million Americans Gained Health Coverage under ACA

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During the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, more than 10 million Americans gained health insurance coverage.

During the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more than 10 million Americans gained health insurance coverage, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The figure includes many who are newly covered under expanded Medicaid programs.

Study authors Benjamin Summers, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) used data from the US Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics as well as the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, and assessed coverage changes in the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first 2 quarters of 2014. They used multivariate regression to adjust for the preexisting trend and potential confounders such as employment, income, and demographic characteristics.

The sample included adults 18 to 64 years of age, studied from Jan. 1, 2012, through June 30, 2014.

“We are committed to providing every American with access to quality, affordable health services and this study reaffirms that the Affordable Care Act has set us on a path toward achieving that goal,” Sylvia M. Burwell, HHS secretary, said in a statement.

The study concludes that the number of Americans without health insurance declined significantly since the ACA open enrollment period began in October 2013. Patterns of coverage were consistent with the eligibility criteria in the law regarding subsidized coverage and HHS statistics on state-level enrollment in ACA programs.

Continued research on coverage, trends, and effects of coverage will be conducted after late 2014 federal survey data is available.

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