What’s at stake with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Since its implementation in 2014, the ACA has been transformative for Washington, benefitting people and communities in many ways. 

Background

A major part of the ACA was expanding Medicaid to additional adults who hadn’t previously been eligible for Medicaid coverage. The ACA also offers individuals, families and small businesses to shop for a plan on our state health benefit exchange. Some individuals qualify for financial help to help pay their health insurance co-pays and premiums.

Benefits

Medicaid expansion in Washington (thumbnail)

A few fast facts about the ACA’s impact in Washington:

  • The uninsured rate in Washington has fallen by 60 percent. Now, fewer than 6 percent of Washingtonians are uninsured.
  • More than 600,000 adults have enrolled as part of the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid (we call Medicaid "Apple Health" in Washington).
    • Since January 2014, more than 20,000 adults who got health care coverage due to Medicaid expansion have been treated for cancer.
    • In 2015, almost 30,000 adults who got health care coverage due to Medicaid expansion got substance use disorder treatment services.
    • In state fiscal year 2016, 147,000 adults who got health care coverage due to Medicaid expansion received dental services.
    • In state fiscal year 2016, 40,633 adults who got health coverage due to Medicaid expansion got diabetes medications.
    • In state fiscal year 2016, 1,143 adults who got health coverage due to Medicaid expansion got hepatitis C treatment.
    • In state fiscal year 2016, 29,922 women who got health coverage due to Medicaid expansion got breast cancer screening.

    • In state fiscal year 2016, 33,268 women who got health coverage due to Medicaid expansion got cervical cancer screening.

  • About 190,000 enrolled this year in qualified health plans (QHPs) through Washington Healthplanfinder, our state’s health benefit exchange.
  • The number of adults delaying care because they can't afford it has dropped from 15.5 percent in 2013 to 11.1 percent in 2015.
  • The least healthy areas in our state have benefited most from the ACA.

Learn more

For more information about the ACA’s impact in Washington, and decisions about the future of the ACA: