What Does the ACA Mean to You?
A new report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows that 18 million people nationally would become uninsured in 2018. According to the report, the number of uninsured would grow to 27 million after the repeal of Medicaid expansion and the subsidies used to purchase coverage through the Marketplace go into effect. The report estimates that 32 million people would become uninsured by 2026.
The cost of insurance in the individual market would also skyrocket. The report estimates that premiums in the non-group insurance market would increase by 20 to 25 percent in the first new plan year compared to what they would have if the ACA had remained in place as it is today. The CBO estimates that this increase would reach 50 percent after the elimination of Medicaid expansion and Marketplace subsidies and then double by 2026.
While Congress was debating and drafting the ACA, HCFANY gathered stories about the hardships experienced by New Yorkers with no coverage at all or coverage that failed when it was most needed. Advocates in other states did the same, and those stories helped educate decision-makers about the need for health care reform.
We need to hear those stories again. HCFANY created a story form to help you tell yours. If you are unsure how the law has affected you, the story form lists some examples. One of the examples is having health insurance, which we know happened for millions of New Yorkers because of the ACA. Maybe you are a childless adult who became eligible for Medicaid for the first time. Maybe you could afford insurance again because you got a tax credit, or you were able to stay on your parents’ insurance for longer.
It is also likely that you have better insurance today than was commonly available before the ACA. Insurance companies are no longer allowed to charge you for check-ups or screenings that help people catch problems early on. They aren’t allowed to exclude pre-natal care or prescriptions, as they commonly did before the ACA. Insurance companies here in New York weren’t allowed to exclude you from purchasing a plan because of pre-existing conditions. But they were allowed to enforce waiting periods where you paid a premium but could not receive needed care for your pre-existing condition.
Tell us what this law has meant to you and your family. Going backwards to the days before the ACA should not be on the table – but it is. The best thing we can do right now is share our honest stories about why we passed the ACA in the first place.