The ACA Has Helped Millions with Preexisting Conditions—Gains That Are Now at Risk

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<p>Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), people with preexisting health conditions were often denied insurance coverage or charged higher rates. With the law’s future in doubt and its rules for covering preexisting conditions at risk, millions of Americans could once again find it difficult to afford the health care they need, a new study finds.</p><p>The Commonwealth Fund study, by Sherry Glied and Adlan Jackson of New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, assessed the ACA’s impact on coverage and access for people with preexisting conditions and compared their coverage gains with enrollment in state high-risk-pools prior to the law’s enactment. The researchers found that between 2013 and 2015, 2.6 million nonelderly adults out of the 16.5 million who gained insurance had preexisting conditions that, in pre-ACA days, could have effectively locked them out of coverage because of insurers’ discriminatory denials and pricing. Another 9.4 million people had health conditions that could have increased their insurance costs.</p>
<p>Up to 61 percent of Americans could have preexisting health conditions that would affect their ability to buy insurance on their own or get any coverage at all without the ACA’s protections.</p> Read more