Affordable Care Act Predictions: It's a Numbers Game

Institutions predict costs, savings associated with Affordable Care Act

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) A report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Urban Institute believes that if the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is fully implemented, it will insure 27.8 million previously uninsured adults.

Researchers estimate full implementation of the law would reduce spending on uncompensated care by 61 percent.

The authors suggest the law’s Medicaid eligibility expansion would extend coverage to 16.8 million individuals, while the marketplace exchanges (set up to provide small businesses and uncovered individuals with health insurance options) would cover an estimated 43.8 million individuals. They project that 40 percent of uninsured individuals eligible for public health coverage through the exchanges would elect to forgo the option, however.

In a separate brief, the institutions found that ACA's individual-insurance mandate (requiring residents to purchase insurance) would reduce the number of uninsured individuals from 18.6 percent to 8.3 percent. If the mandate is not implemented, the rate of the uninsured would fall to only 14.9 percent, however, according to the researchers' estimates.

Spending on uncompensated care would plummet from $42.4 billion to $14.7 billion if the ACA is fully enacted, according to the authors.

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Review Date: 
January 11, 2011
Last Updated:
January 11, 2011