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The Affordable Care Act and Older Adults

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As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) turns 10 years old, two new fact sheets from the AARP Public Policy Institute examine the characteristics of and enrollment trends among older adults ages 50 to 64 who purchase coverage on their own in the nongroup (individual) health insurance market. 

Key Characteristics of Older Adults in Nongroup Market:

  • Older adults in the nongroup market represent a similar racial and ethnic makeup to the rest of the market. 
  • Most older adults in the nongroup market are working and are in good health.
  • Only a small proportion of older adults with incomes just above eligibility for financial assistance are enrolled in nongroup coverage. 

Key Trends for Older Adults in Nongroup Market: 

  • Older adults rely heavily on the nongroup health insurance market. Nine percent of Americans ages 50 to 64 (5.6 million) are enrolled in the nongroup market.
  • Older adults make up a disproportionately high share of this market. The nongroup market is also getting older over time, as the proportion of adults ages 50 and older is growing.
  • Because of the ACA, the uninsured rate among older adults has fallen 39 percent since 2013 as coverage has increased in the nongroup market.
  • Trends shifted in 2017 and 2018, reflecting market uncertainty and federal policy changes. Between 2016 and 2018, the uninsured rate among older adults ages 50 to 64 increased slightly and nongroup enrollment decreased.

The fact sheets include national and state-level data. More state-level data on the uninsured and nongroup markets is also available on AARP DataExplorer, an interactive data visualization tool from AARP Public Policy Institute.

Suggested citations:

Sung, Jane, Olivia Dean, Asha Saavoss, and Robert C. Saunders. Characteristics of Americans Ages 50 to 64 in the Nongroup Health Insurance Market. Washington, DC: AARP Public Policy Institute, March 2020. https://doi.org/10.26419/ppi.00099.001

Sung, Jane, Olivia Dean, Asha Saavoss, and Robert C. Saunders. Enrollment and Coverage Trends for Americans Ages 50 to 64 in the Nongroup Health Insurance Market. Washington, DC: AARP Public Policy Institute, March 2020. https://doi.org/10.26419/ppi.00099.002

 

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