New Jersey Affordable Care Act Statistics

A great deal of focus has been placed on statistics and trends during the six-month open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange policies and Medicaid expansion. During that time, many members of the health care industry have anxiously awaited numbers that could provide some indication of how the new insurance system may affect the medical marketplace. Now that open enrollment has come to a close, numbers are emerging that could help health care administrators and medical professionals prepare to adjust to the anticipated influx of new patients.

While enrollment figures lagged initially, a surge of activity in the last month of open enrollment ultimately caught many commentators by surprise. According to the Star-Ledger, approximately 8.02 million people nationwide ultimately signed up for coverage through the ACA marketplaces. Specifically in New Jersey:

  • Prior to the enactment of the ACA, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated approximately 1 million legal residents living without health insurance.
  • At the close of open enrollment, 162,000 residents had signed up for private insurance coverage under the ACA.
  • Another 98,000 took advantage of expanded eligibility for Medicaid.
  • As a result, as many as 260,000 previously uninsured individuals now have insurance. However, at least 740,000 remain uninsured.

Note that these figures do not take into account a large number of undocumented aliens living in New Jersey also without coverage. Furthermore, the total of newly-insured residents likely includes a substantial number of people who previously had private insurance but lost their prior coverage due to new ACA requirements.

These statistics clearly indicate that health care providers are likely to continue to face the problem of uninsured patients. Moreover, the increase in Medicaid enrollment may put further strain on the personnel resources and financial margins of many small practices. Health care providers planning to meet these new challenges should enlist the counsel of an experienced New Jersey health care law firm to provide regulatory perspective and compliance assistance.

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Posted in: Regulation