opinion Newport Rhode Island

There is no better week than this one to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). COVID-19 has shown how important it is for every person to have access to quality, affordable healthcare. At ten years old, the ACA has made a difference in Rhode Island. 

70,000 people are covered by Medicaid expansion permitted by the ACA. The availability of a strong Medicaid program for Rhode Islanders – especially in this current health crisis – is very important.

32,500 people are enrolled in health care plans through HealthSourceRI. Having our own state marketplace means that HealthSourceRI can respond to Rhode Islanders needs and was able to open a special enrollment period in response to the COVD-19 crisis to make sure that people without coverage can get it.

The ACA guarantees high quality and affordable coverage regardless of income and pre-existing condition, with no-cost preventative services.

Because of the ACA, many more Rhode Islanders have coverage and fewer go without healthcare because of cost. In 2012 nearly 11% of Rhode Islanders were uninsured compared to just 3.7% in 2018.

The stress that COVID-19 has put on families and individuals is relieved somewhat by knowing that there is coverage for routine healthcare needs and an unexpected crisis that the state and nation are facing now.

So, Happy Birthday to the Affordable Care Act with the hope that there will be many more celebrations in the future.

Judy K. Jones


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