New report underscores the importance of building on the ACA to improve affordability and access - Families Usa Skip to Main Content
04.10.2024 / Press Release

New report underscores the importance of building on the ACA to improve affordability and access

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) turned 14 last month. Since then, its marketplaces have played an essential role in providing health coverage for 21.4 million people. But as the new report, Building on the ACA: Improving Affordability for Marketplace Enrollees, notes there’s more work to be done in both the marketplace and employer-sponsored coverage to continue building on that coverage and constrain high out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.

The report is a component of the Marketplace Affordability project* –  an 18-month initiative from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities partly supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation –  to determine priorities for improving marketplace affordability. Its recommendations to make coverage more affordable through rulemaking or state and federal legislation include:

  • Making the enhanced premium tax credits, slated to expire in 2025, permanent.
  • Further increasing the value of subsidized plans.
  • Guaranteeing certain high-value services that address prevalent conditions and equity are available without high cost-sharing.
  • Ensuring assistance is available to help enrollees address insurance enrollment challenges before and after they sign up for coverage.

“Families across America are reaping the significant health benefits of coverage gains over the last 14 years, all thanks to the ACA,” said Cheryl Fish-Parcham, Families USA’s Director of Private Coverage. “However, our work remains. We must address the exorbitant excessive costs negatively impacting people’s health and wallets.”

Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Representative Lauren Underwood have each introduced bills to extend enhanced premium tax credits permanently. The Senate bill would also increase cost-sharing protections.

*Families USA is a member of the Marketplace Affordability Project advisory committee.