How Many People Will Be Newly Insured by ObamaCare?

The first study, from three Harvard researchers, looks at how many Americans will sign up for Medicaid, the entitlement program for low-income Americans. The CBO estimates that 16 million Americans will gain coverage through Medicaid. The Harvard researchers argue that this 16 million figure assumes only 55 percent of eligible recipients actually sign up. They come up with three scenarios for low-level, mid-level and high-level enrollment, that range from 8.5 million to 22.4 million new Medicaid recipients.

All this variance has huge cost implications; it means that the Medicaid expansion could cost anywhere from $34 billion to $98 billion by 2019.

Sarah Kliff at Ezra Klein’s blog.

Comments (3)

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  1. Brian Williams. says:

    Sorry, I must have misunderstood the purpose of Obamacare. Are you saying there will still be people uninsured after Obamacare?

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    Does it really make a difference whether people who are Medicaid eligible but unenrolled are uninsured until they need care and then enroll? I doubt it. Medicaid enrollees tend to be sicker than the uninsured. Part of the reason is that the uninsured are often uninsured because they do not expect to need significant amounts of care. Tracking down and enrolling Medicaid eligibles makes little difference in terms of health outcomes but makes a big difference in costs. At any given time, around 45 million people are enrolled in Medicaid — about 60 million unique individuals throughout the year. The ACA will increase enrollment by nearly 50 percent by adding up to 22 million additional people. Many of those are people who will have dropped private coverage.

  3. Virginia says:

    I think this will create even more of a “coverage is not access” problem.