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Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014

Understanding Obamacare: At Least 10 Million Have New Insurance Coverage

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Question: How many people have already signed up for Obamacare?

Answer: Figures show that at least 10 million Americans have new health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And realistically that number is more likely well beyond 10 million. While many more will still be enrolling moving forward, this represents a sizeable population of individuals who now have new or better health coverage than they had in the past. Millions of Americans who will no longer, in the 21st century, experience discrimination based on preexisting conditions or gender.

Millions of people are signing up for the private health marketplace—healthcare.gov—and more do every day. As of mid-January more than 3 million individuals have signed up through an online marketplace. And an additional 3 million young adults who are between the ages of 18 and 26 are now on their parents’ health insurance coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Medicaid (known as BadgerCare here in Wisconsin) has also enrolled about 4 million individuals across the country already. The benefit of Medicaid is that there is no enrollment time period. If you are, or become, eligible for Medicaid you may sign up anytime. This number will also grow as more states accept federal Medicaid funds to cover more citizens.

What these numbers don’t show are small businesses that sign up their employees for new plans through agents, nor does it show Americans who went straight to an insurance company to purchase a plan. These numbers aren’t public yet but represent another large group of covered lives.

Together already 10 million Americans are covered in new plans, and likely far more. These numbers will continue to grow as we get closer to March 31 and beyond. Throughout the country people are signing up for Affordable Care Act coverage, and we encourage you to as well.

—Kevin Kane, lead organizer, Citizen Action of Wisconsin

The Shepherd Express and Citizen Action of Wisconsin will answer questions about the Affordable Care Act during its implementation. Got a question? Email editor@shepex.com.

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