Study: More Than 18 Million Baby Boomers to Benefit from Health Reform Law

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<p>A new Commonwealth Fund <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2010/dec/realizing-health-reforms-potential-adults-ages-50-64-and" target="_blank">issue brief</a> released today finds that the Affordable Care Act will help more than 18 million men and women ages 50 to 64 gain access to affordable health insurance with comprehensive benefits and strong financial protections. </p>
<p>Long-term unemployment among U.S. adults in the 50-to-64 age range is the highest within the working-age population, and 8.6 million lack health insurance coverage. Beginning in 2014, 3.3 million of those currently uninsured and with incomes under $29,000 for a family of four will gain Medicaid coverage; 3.5 million with incomes up to $88,000 for a family of four will be able to gain subsidized private coverage through the new health insurance exchanges; and 1.4 million in higher income brackets will gain new coverage with consumer protections. </p>
<p>In addition, an estimated 9.7 million older adults who have health insurance—but pay such high out-of-pocket costs relative to their income that they are effectively underinsured—will gain improved coverage through the new essential-benefit standards, limits on out-of-pocket spending, and elimination of lifetime benefit limits. </p>
<p>"A loss of employer health benefits can be devastating to men and women in this age group, since their older age and higher rates of chronic health problems place them at risk of facing exorbitant premiums, having a condition excluded from their coverage, or being denied insurance altogether if they try to buy it on their own," said Commonwealth Fund vice president Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., the study's lead author. "The Affordable Care Act will change all of that. Once its provisions are in full effect, older adults who lose their employer health insurance will have access to affordable and comprehensive health benefits regardless of their age or health." </p>
<p>Join a <a href="; target="_blank">webinar</a> cosponsored by AARP and Women in Government on Thursday, Jan. 6, at 2 p.m., E.T. Sara Collins and coauthor Michelle M. Doty, Ph.D., Fund assistant vice president and director of survey research, will be joined by Richard G. Frank, Ph.D., U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Disability, Aging, and Long-Term Care Policy, and John Rother, J.D., Executive Vice President of Policy, Strategy, and International Affairs at AARP, for a discussion of the unique problems facing men and women between 50 and 64 and how the Affordable Care Act will benefit them. To register, go to <a href="; target="_blank"></a&gt;. </p>
<p>The new study is the latest in the Fund publication series, <a href="/Content/Publications/Issue-Briefs/2010/Sep/A-New-Series-of-Briefs-on-the-Affordable-Care-Act.aspx" target="_blank">Realizing Health Reform's Potential</a>, which examines how the Affordable Care Act will affect different populations and help transform the delivery of care. And for lots more information on health reform, visit the <a href="/Health-Reform/Health-Reform-Resource.aspx" target="_blank">Health Reform Resource Center</a> on <a href="/" target="_blank"></a&gt;. <br /></p>