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18.3 million baby boomers could benefit from the Affordable Care Act
Date:12/14/2010

s for this age group higher than the national average of 14.2 percentprimarily in the south and southweststand to benefit the most from the Affordable Care Act. In Florida, New Mexico, and Texas, 20.1 percent to 22.5 percent of adults ages 50 to 64 were uninsured in 2008 and 2009, and in Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Nevada, and Wyoming, 16.5 percent to 18.2 percent of those 50 to 64 were uninsured.

New consumer protections in the health insurance marketplace will provide some of the biggest benefits for baby boomers: 64 percent have at least one chronic condition like heart disease or diabetes, making it difficult or impossible for them to find affordable coverage on the individual market. Seven of 10 adults ages 50 to 64 who looked into buying individual insurance coverage never bought a plan because of high cost or coverage limits, or because they were turned down completely. In addition, changes that limit how much more insurers can charge based on age will benefit adults in this age group, who currently pay much higher premiums than their younger counterparts pay: the new law restricts variation in premiums based on age to no more than three to one.

Additional Benefits for Baby Boomers in the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act includes many additional features that will improve health insurance coverage for adults ages 50 to 64:

  • Beginning in 2010, adults in this age group with chronic health problems who have been uninsured for more than six months can join new plans for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • A ban on lifetime limits on insurance benefits beginning in 2010 will help an estimated 102 million people who currently have these limits on their plans; older adults are at greater risk than younger adults of exceeding their limits and being saddled with a crushing debt load as a result.
  • Requiring coverage of preventive care and immunizations without cost-sharing will assure a
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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