Nardin, Leah Zallman, Danny McCormick, Steffie Woolhandler, and David
Published in the Health Affairs Blog, June 6, 2013
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) proposed expanding health insurance coverage by: 1) requiring states to offer Medicaid to people with incomes up to 138 percent (133 percent plus a 5 percent income disregard) of the federal poverty level (FPL), with most of this expansion funded federally; and 2) offering subsidies to help those with incomes up to 400 percent FPL purchase private insurance through newly created insurance exchanges. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in March 2012 that the ACA would newly insure 30-33 million people, leaving 26-27 million uninsured in 2016.
In June 2012, however, the Supreme Court ruled that states may opt-out of Medicaid expansion. Since then, the governors of 14 states have announced their intention to opt-out, 6 are undecided, 3 are leaning against, and 2 toward the expansion. Opt-outs will likely leave several million more uninsured, but little is known about who is likely to remain uninsured under the ACA.