2024 marks the tenth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

Record year for Marketplace Health Insurance plans

The way we were. A Brief History of the ACA

TrueCoverage is proud to play its part

In 2024, we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has transformed the health insurance industry by creating open but regulated markets that provide consumers with a choice of plans and standard minimum essential benefits. The ACA has made high-quality health insurance policies (group, individual, Medicaid) affordable to over forty-five million families through federal or state-funded subsidies, many of them for the first time.

Record year for Marketplace Health Insurance plans

During the 2024 Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which ended on Jan 13th, 21.4 million consumers selected or were automatically enrolled in ACA health insurance plans. This includes 5.2 million people who signed up for coverage for the first time, a 41% increase over 2023.

State and federal subsidies, including the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act, have made health insurance significantly more affordable. Eighty percent of Healthcare.gov enrollees could sign up for annual plans with premiums that cost $10 or less per month.

The way we were. A brief history of the ACA

It is hard to believe that only ten years ago, almost all (92%) of health insurance plans used gender rating as a factor in assessing premiums. Women could pay over 80% more than men of the same age and still not have coverage for maternity care. Consumers could also be denied coverage or charged more for their premiums due to a pre-existing condition or their age.

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) in 2014, these discriminatory practices were eliminated, and the uninsured rate for all ages has fallen from 14.4% (then) to 7.7% (now). Even more importantly, in the same period, the uninsured rate for children fell to 3.4%.

At the same time (2014-2024), the number of consumers enrolling in ACA-compliant plans on HealthCare.gov or their State-Based Marketplace (SBM) grew from eight million in 2014 to over twenty million.

Tax credits (on premiums) and cost-sharing deductions (on out-of-pocket expenses) are two of the more obvious ways the ACA helps reduce the cost of health insurance to the consumer. Four less apparent ways are: –

  1. The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR). The MLR ensures that insurers spend at least 85% (large group) or 80% (small group) of premium income on medical costs
  2. ACA legislation ensures that all brokers and agents (or any other intermediaries) are paid on a fixed percentage regardless of the insurance provider.
  3. Insurance companies cannot raise premium prices without evaluation by state or federal regulators.
  4. Parents are allowed to keep children on their health insurance until the age of twenty-six

TrueCoverage is proud to play its part

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare) was signed into law fourteen years ago (March 2010). It heralded four years of intense activity on the part of insurance companies and the marketing channels they could use to communicate and transact with new and unfamiliar markets before the first open enrollment in November 2013.

The insurance market was skewed toward large employers. Many medium—and small-sized companies with smaller risk pools and less buying power found it difficult to provide comparable insurance benefits.

Employers were extremely conscious of the value of a highly skilled (and healthy) workforce. They heavily subsidized the increasing healthcare costs but balanced this by keeping workers’ wages flat.

Individuals who wished to buy health insurance for themselves and their families were offered the least attractive plans, with high premiums and limited benefits. Insurance companies did not have the mechanisms to cope with the enormous cost of chronic (long-lasting) pre-existing conditions. Sufferers were treated as ‘uninsurable’ on the individual market.

Apart from the ACA’s vast logistical, actuarial, and financial implications, insurance companies faced the threats of greater competition by participating in state marketplaces. They were also faced with a communication problem. How could they interface with their new potential market, which numbered in the tens of millions of individuals rather than the tens of thousands of large or medium-sized companies?

How could they present enormous amounts of data to consumers in a way that enables them to match an insurance plan to their family health needs, financial circumstances, and federal/state subsidies? How could they use this information to create a user-friendly interface (portal) with federal and state systems and allow consumers to self-enroll?

TrueCoverage was there at the very beginning. We brought together a team of experienced software developers and insurance experts to partner on the project. They created the most advanced insurance portal of its kind to meet those needs and put the benefits of ACA at the fingertips of everyone with a Smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and that is what happened!

The most advanced health insurance marketplace portal, TrueCoverage, came out of a single project. It was created out of the passion to build technology solutions that benefit the consumer. At the heart of it, we bring together technology experts, insurance brokers, and independent insurance agents with experience exceeding ACA’s lifetime since its inception. As insurance experts, we are always on top of the rapidly changing healthcare landscape. We keep a keen eye on the challenges faced by real people while shopping for insurance and health coverage.

Our innovative and user-friendly insurance solutions will help you find affordable insurance coverage with just a few clicks.

TrueCoverage is a private health insurance marketplace for individuals, families, and employers. It is a “One-Stop Insurance Shop” where you can compare and enroll in affordable health insurance plans. We offer plans from more than six hundred top carriers across the country. We also provide ancillary insurance like dental, vision, life, accidental death, critical illness, disability, and Medicare Supplemental insurance.

If you need affordable health insurance, learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how TrueCoverage delivers the BEST health insurance at the lowest rates!

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