The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 represented the most significant overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Ten years ago this month, the major parts of the ACA took effect, including the availability of healthcare coverage through Medicaid expansion for low-income adults — in states like Arkansas that chose this option — and financial assistance to purchase coverage through the health insurance marketplace for the many who fell in the gap between Medicaid eligibility and job-based insurance. In a guest column for Talk Business & Politics, ACHI Health Policy Director Craig Wilson looks at how the law has impacted Arkansans over the past decade.
Wilson considers how health insurance products and the shopping experience for Arkansans have been affected by the ACA and discusses how the federal health reform law has created a one-stop health insurance marketplace, advanced health literacy, and prohibited insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, among other things.
For a related discussion, see a guest column in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette by ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson, who reflects on what Arkansas’s Medicaid expansion program has — and has not — accomplished since coverage under the program began 10 years ago.