2014 was the year that Obamacare broke from a trot to a gallop.
It was the year of the horse, after all.
The health care exchanges opened, Medicaid was expanded in most states and the individual mandate kicked in.
What happened last year?
- 6.7 million signed up for health coverage on the health insurance exchanges. About 400,000 received dental coverage.
- Another 5 million signed up for plans outside of the marketplace. Those plans must meet Affordable Care Act standards.
- Another 3 million young adults under 26 continued to receive coverage under their parents plans.
- 9.7 million more Americans enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, a 17 percent increase since the marketplaces opened.
- 28 states expanded Medicaid coverage.
What’s going on now?
- 46 percent of Americans disapprove of Obamacare, while 41 percent approve.
- 2.5 million Americans have picked a plan on the exchanges so far during open enrollment for 2015.
- 11.3 percent of Americans still lack health insurance, though that’s an improvement from 14.4 percent in 2013.
- 5 million will remain uninsured because their states did not expand Medicaid.
What’s left in 2015?
- The target for open enrollment is 9.1 million total signups.
- The employer mandate goes into effect. Support for the employer mandate, which requires businesses with more than 100 workers to provide health care coverage, is 6 in 10.
- The Supreme Court will decide if the law’s insurance subsidies are enforceable in states that rely on federal health exchanges.
- 16 states have no plans to expand Medicaid coverage.
- 7 states are exploring alternative means of expanding Medicaid, such as providing insurance premium assistance.
What’s it all cost?
- An April estimate by the Congressional Budget Office found that Obamacare costs were lower than initially expected.
- ACA cost the government $36 billion in 2014 for insurance credits, Medicaid and CHIP. That’s about $5 billion less than originally estimated.
- In total, Obamacare is expected to cost $1.3 trillion from 2014 to 2024. CBO expects it to reduce federal deficits over the long term.
(Data: Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Congressional Budget Office, WhiteHouse.gov, National Center for Health Statistics)
Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on twitter at @GavinStern.