Last week, Harvard researchers released the latest installment of the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment (OHIE) –a randomized control trial that examines the effects of Medicaid expansion on Oregonians who won a lottery for health insurance in 2008. After analyzing hospital records for 18 months, the researchers discovered that Medicaid recipients visited the ER 41 percent more than those without insurance.
It has always seemed backward that those who need insurance the most—people who are already sick—are turned down for coverage or forced to pay higher premiums. Thanks to the new health law, insurers will no longer be able to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions by charging them higher premiums or denying them coverage. A recent Families USA report, Worry No More: Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Are Protected by the Health Care Law, shows just how many people across the nation stand to gain from this portion of the health law.
One popular aspect of the Affordable Care Act is its requirement that all individual and small group health plans (for people who don’t have traditional job-based coverage) cover important health benefits like maternity, mental health, preventive, and pediatric dental care. Members of Congress and the Trump administration have frequently proposed measures that would eliminate or undermine these essential health benefits (EHBs), as they are known.