The Affordable Care Act Turns Five

Five years ago today, the country experienced a pivotal moment when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law. Since passage and subsequent implementation, millions of Americans have started to enjoy its benefits, including Latinos. While the increase in Americans with quality, affordable health coverage should be celebrated, it’s important to highlight the other ways the law is benefiting millions of Americans. To mark the ACA’s fifth birthday, here are five ways the law is benefiting the Latino community.

1. Investing in prevention

  • 8.8 million: The number of Latinos with private insurance who now have access to expanded preventive services with no cost-sharing, including mammograms for women, well-child visits, and flu shots for all children and adults.
  • 9 million: How many Latina women with private health insurance now have guaranteed access to women’s preventive services without cost-sharing, including breastfeeding support and counseling, screenings for cervical cancer, and prenatal care.

2. Enhancing quality

  • 10: The number of essential health benefit categories private marketplace plans must cover, including recommended preventive services, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance use disorder services.

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3. Creating new coverage opportunities for young adults

  • 913,000: Latino adults ages 19–26 who would have been uninsured, including 375,000 women, but now have coverage either on their own plan or a parent’s employer-sponsored plan.

4. Improving consumer protections

  • 11.8 million: The number of Hispanics, including 4.4 million Latinas, who no longer have lifetime or annual limits on their health insurance coverage. And Section 1557, a civil rights provision of the law, prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other statuses.

5. There’s room to grow to ensure all who are eligible are able to experience the full benefit of the law

  • 1 million: The number of low-income Latinos who stand to gain coverage if states like Florida and Texas expand Medicaid eligibility.

There are many other ways the Affordable Care Act is benefiting Latinos and as implementation continues, we’ll see even more Americans benefitting. Of course, this is notwithstanding congressional attempts to repeal the law. It will take all of us to ensure Republican efforts to undermine the law are not realized. We know what’s at stake for millions of Americans, including Latinos, and NCLR will continue working to protect and advance the gains that have been made to ensure the potential of the law is fulfilled.

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