New Yorkers Winning Big with the ACA

Posted July, 31 2013 by arianne


The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a series of state-based reports today on how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been faring so far in the 50 states.  Specifically, the reports highlight the numbers associated with the new coverage options, health savings, and federal funding.

One interesting set of numbers I had not seen before was a demographic breakdown of uninsured New Yorkers who will be eligible for coverage through the forthcoming NYS Health Benefit Exchange.  As a whole, over 1.9 million uninsured will be eligible for coverage.  The vast majority of these, 1.4 million (74%), come from households with at least one full-time worker in the family.   So, primarily folks who make too much to qualify for public health insurance like Medicaid or Family Health Plus, but don’t get coverage through their employer and can’t currently afford to buy it on their own.  Importantly, 88% of those eligible will likely qualify for financial aid to purchase coverage on the Exchange, or Medicaid.

Here is the rest of the breakdown:

  • More than half (57%) are male
  • Slightly less than half (43%) are young adults 18 – 35 years old
  • 28% are Latino/Hispanic
  • 19% are African American
  • 9% are Asian American or Pacific Islander.

I’d be curious to know what the federal estimates are of LGBT New Yorkers who are eligible for coverage, since estimates we’ve seen put the rate of uninsurance among LGBT New Yorkers at 25%. But for now, this gives a good sense of how outreach around the Exchange may be targeted.

The report also includes numbers on New Yorkers who have already been helped by the ACA.  For example, 160,000 young adults in New York have already gained coverage under the law’s provision that lets parents keep their kids on their plans until age 26.  New Yorkers who have insurance have also gained.  More than 4 million New Yorkers with private insurance have also gained free preventive services.  People with Medicare have also saved nearly $516 million on prescription drugs since the laws enactment.

These are just a few tidbits.  To read the full report (it’s short) you can click here.