In the midst of so much uncertainty and fear related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reminded of why we do the work that we do to ensure North Carolinians have health insurance coverage and are aware of the different health and social resources in their local communities. Ten years ago today (on March 23, 2010), the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, making the dream of affordable health insurance coverage a reality for so many who had previously been left out. Please join us in wishing the ACA a Happy 10th Birthday and celebrating its many accomplishments (listed below).
(Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Chart Book: Accomplishments of Affordable Care Act, March 19, 2019)
- More than 20 million people have gained health insurance coverage nationwide as a result of the ACA (more than 400,000 in North Carolina between 2013 and 2018).
- Uninsured rates fell dramatically for almost all demographic groups once the ACA took effect. This was particularly true for states that expanded Medicaid. (North Carolina’s uninsured rate has dropped 5% since the first Marketplace Open Enrollment Period.)
- The ACA improved access to care and financial security for non-elderly adults. Between 2010 and 2018, the number of non-elderly adults who reported having a problem paying a medical bill fell 17%, not filling a prescription fell 27%, and not visiting a provider when needing care fell 19%.
- The ACA protected more than 50 million people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage.
- The law requires all health plans to cover 10 essential health benefits, including prescription drugs, maternity care and preventive services.
- The law prohibits annual and lifetime limits on coverage but caps annual out-of-pocket costs for Marketplace enrollees.
- And much, much more!
There’s so much to celebrate when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, but the countless lives that have been saved as a result of having access to care is undoubtedly the icing on the cake! May you find ways to mark this special occasion in your own way, and hold your head a little higher today knowing that you have been (and continue to be) an important part of the ACA’s success. Thank you!!
NC Get Covered staff