Almost half a million veterans gained health care coverage during the first two years of the Affordable Care Act, a report finds.
In the years leading up to the implementation of the ACA's major coverage provisions, from 2010 to 2013, nearly 1 million of the nation's approximately 22 million veterans didn't have health insurance. Almost half of all veterans are enrolled in the VA health system; others get health care through employers or Medicare. But some don't quality for those options, and others don't know that they have them.
Two years after the ACA's implementation, 429,000 veterans under the age of 65 gained coverage, which is a 40 percent drop in vets without insurance from 2013 to 2015. The vets were covered for the most part through Medicaid expansion, privately purchased plans and marketplace coverage, according to the report.
The number of insured veterans rose across demographics like age, gender, race and education level. "The gains in coverage were really broad," says Jennifer Haley, a research associate at the Urban Institute, a research group based in Washington, D.C., who was an author on the report.
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