Challenges plague upcoming enrollment period


Despite providing coverage to more than 10 million previously uninsured Americans, the Affordable Care Act will face hurdles once November rolls around, reports the Huffington Post.

For starters, an estimated 54 million individuals remain uninsured.

"The people the second year are going to be a little bit harder. We got the low-hanging fruit," Richard Onizuka, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, told the Huffington Post.

So to encourage people to sign up for coverage, public outreach and education needs improving. Since the beginning of ACA implementation, insurers are dedicating time and resources to improve healthcare literacy and ease member confusion, FierceHealthPayer previously reported . What's more, many uninsured individuals were not aware of federal subsidies, or if they qualified for Medicaid, so they decided to forgo purchasing a plan.

Yet by continuing outreach initiatives and encouraging sign-ups, the ACA has the ability to reduce the uninsured by 12 million through the end of this year, projects the Congressional Budget Office, notes the Huffington Post.

In 10 years from now, the CBO predicts 57 million Americans will lack health coverage--but this is 26 million fewer uninsured individuals than there would be had the healthcare reform law not been established.

States can attribute their ACA success to many factors, one of which being the decision to expand Medicaid. Kentucky, for example, expanded Medicaid and ran a state-operated exchange to achieve enrollment success. But with more than one-quarter of the state's residents now in a program, finding remaining eligible, unenrolled individuals may present difficulties, reports the Huffington Post.

States that chose to not expand Medicaid will most likely face more challenges next enrollment period. This past year, the state of New Jersey chose to spend their $7.67 million in federal funding to build a state-run exchange instead of expanding Medicaid, reports New Jersey Spotlight.

However, many ACA-supporters are optimistic that with the right, and proven strategies, enrollment success is possible, notes the Huffington Post.

For more:
- here's the Huffington Post article
- check out the NJ Spotlight piece

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