MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2011
Contact: Jenny Davies-Schley, 720-296-9545, [email protected]

Washington, D.C. & Denver—When fully implemented, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will do much more for Colorado’s families than put the brakes on 20 years of insurance premium hikes. It will actually put money in their pockets—an average in 2019 of $1,700 for Colorado households earning less than $100,000 a year.

That financial gain for Colorado families is one of the findings of a report titled “The Bottom Line” and co-released today by the health consumer group Families USA and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. The report details a range of health reform benefits that includes protection against high deductibles and copayments, elimination of lifetime and annual limits on covered benefits, and improvements to the health care delivery system itself.

The “bottom line,” however, remains the key health pocketbook concern, and, according to the report, the ACA will be helpful. Colorado families will see a reduced cost for health coverage and care, and that means more money for other family priorities.

The report looks first at who in Colorado benefits and then at how they benefit. Families USA finds that in 2019, because of the Affordable Care Act:

  • On average, Colorado households earning less than $100,000 will be about $1,700 better off.
  • Households with income under $30,000 will be $2,686 better off.
  • Households with income between $30,000 and $50,000 will be $1,467 better off.
  • Households with income between $50,000 and $100,000 will be $837 better off. 

“As this report makes clear, the Affordable Care Act will put extra cash in the pocketbooks of Colorado families—those who now have health coverage and those who are currently uninsured,” Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, said today. “While both groups benefit, however, they benefit in different ways.

“Families who have coverage currently face rising premiums and increasing out-of-pocket payments for deductibles, copayments and uncovered care,” Pollack said. “The financial benefits of health reform will come to these families in the form of lower premiums and reductions in out-of-pocket spending when they seek care.”

The report finds that, for families who had coverage before reform:

  • Households with income under $30,000 will pay $855 less in premiums.
  • Households with income between $30,000 and $50,000 will pay $893 less in premiums.
  • Households with income between $50,000 and $100,000 will pay $549 less in premiums.   

“Families now without coverage will benefit from health premium tax credits and from access to new state marketplaces, where they can shop for individual and family policies at competitive rates,” Pollack said. “And lower-income families will benefit from the fact that Medicaid eligibility is being extended to include families with annual incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level.”

The report notes that, for families who were uninsured before reform:

  • Households with income under $30,000 will receive an average of $3,550 in help with the cost of health coverage.
  • Households with income between $30,000 and $50,000 will receive an average of $2,905 in help with the cost of health coverage.
  • Households with income between $50,000 and $100,000 will receive an average of $2,283 in help with the cost of health coverage.

In addition to getting financial assistance with the upfront costs of obtaining health coverage, Colorado families will also benefit from lower out-of-pocket costs associated with their claims for health coverage, spending on average $195 less out of pocket under the Affordable Care Act in 2019 than they would have without reform.

In the final analysis, Pollack said, the law will benefit all health care consumers.

“It’s a sad commentary on political discourse that irresponsible politicians continue to use the Affordable Care Act as a political target, instead of actually explaining to their family and business constituents what’s in the law, when its provisions take effect,  and how they can take advantage of its many benefits.  Numerous provisions of  the Affordable Care Act have already been put into place that help children, young adults, families and seniors, and the law also includes a broad range of initiatives to help contain costs, improve quality and promote prevention,” he said.

“This new report confirms that Coloradans will directly benefit even more than they already have from the Affordable Care Act – real cash in their pockets they can spend on other household need,” said Dede de Percin, Colorado Consumer Health Initiative executive director.  “Colorado families should be able to get the care they need when they need it – regardless of income level or type of insurance.  This report shows that most households will be significantly better off financially – have better access to quality affordable health care – because of Obamacare”

The Families USA report, “The Bottom Line: How the Affordable Care Act Helps Colorado Families,” is attached and is available at http://familiesusa2.org/assets/pdfs/health-reform/helping-families/Color…

Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan, and its mission is to secure high-quality, affordable health coverage and care for all Americans.
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative is a coalition of 50+ statewide organizations representing more than half a million Colorado consumers of healthcare.

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