As Open Enrollment Nears for 2015, Picture Emerges On First Year of Healthcare Coverage under ACA

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For most of the spring, news on the Affordable Care Act was all about the numbers, and to much surprise enrollment surpassed the magical 7 million mark. Now, Patricia Salber, MD, and Christobel Selecky report in The American Journal of Accountable Care what having coverage means, whether it makes a difference, and what are the unanswered questions.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 25, 2014As Open Enrollment Nears for 2015, Picture Emerges On First Year of Coverage under ACA

PLAINSBORO, N.J. — When the number of Americans who signed up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act passed 7 million, after all the glitches and downplayed expectations, the Obama Administration declared victory, at least for the moment. But as any healthcare expert knows, signing up for coverage is just the beginning.

In this issue of The American Journal of Accountable Care, Patricia Salber, MD, and Christobel Selecky review the numbers but then go further to explore what having health coverage means for millions of Americans, including many who have it for the first time in their lives.


“So far at least, healthcare reform appears to be meeting or even exceeding expectations from a consumer standpoint,” Dr. Salber said. “But much remains to be seen. It’s too early to tell whether healthcare reform will change long-term patterns, such as getting more people to use primary care doctors instead of the emergency room. And we won’t know for a while if the law will result in better health.”

Dr. Salber and Selecky gather data from multiple independent sources for their review, which looks at just who the new consumers of healthcare are and what their experiences have been, at least so far. For a copy of the article, click here. Among their findings:

  • The drop in the uninsured population is meaningful, and 4 out of 5 newly insured consumers believe having coverage will improve their ability to get care (Commonwealth Fund).
  • The benefits of the ACA are widespread, but unevenly felt across the country.

  • People are, for the most part, satisfied with their plans.
  • Six of 10 adults said they had used their coverage by June, and a majority said they would not have been able to access care beforehand.

Heading into the 2014 midterm elections, Dr. Salber and Selecky are among those reporting that the economy, not healthcare, is the top issue on voters’ minds as they head to the polls.

About the Journal

The American Journal of Managed Care, now in its 20th year of publication, is the leading peer-reviewed journal dedicated to issues in managed care. Other titles in the AJMC family of publications are The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, which provides pharmacy and formulary decision makers with information to improve the efficiency and health outcomes in managing pharmaceutical care. In December 2013, AJMC introduced The American Journal of Accountable Care, which publishes research and commentary devoted to understanding changes to the healthcare system due to the 2010 Affordable Care Act. AJMC’s news publications, the Evidence-Based series, bring together stakeholder views from payers, providers, policymakers and pharmaceutical leaders in the areas of oncology, diabetes management, and immunology and infectious disease. To order reprints of articles appearing in AJMC publications, please call (609) 716-7777, x 131.

CONTACT: Mary Caffrey (609) 716-7777 x 144