WASHINGTON—Implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will make about three-fourths of the seven million children who were uninsured in 2009 eligible for health insurance, a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found, reported MedPage Today.
Under the ACA, "nearly 68 percent of the approximately 7 million children who were uninsured in January 2009 would be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP [the Children's Health Insurance Program] -- about 48 percent for Medicaid and about 20 percent for CHIP," Katherine Iritani, the GAO's director of healthcare, and colleagues wrote.
"In addition," they wrote, "7.5 percent of the uninsured children would be eligible for the premium tax credit."
The ACA expanded children's eligibility for Medicaid, increased the federal matching funds for CHIP, and ensured that all states will have the same minimum eligibility requirements for these programs. It also introduced a tax credit for low-income individuals and families who purchase health insurance through one of the new insurance exchanges.
Of the 24 percent of children uninsured in 2009 who would continue to be uninsured under the ACA, nearly 13 percent were noncitizens for whom data was limited. The rest would be ineligible for any of the three programs -- Medicaid, CHIP, or the premium tax credit—either because they were in families with a household income that was too high or because "though their families ... met the household income requirements for the premium tax credit, they were considered to have access to affordable employer-sponsored insurance" according to an Internal Revenue Service proposed definition of affordability, the authors wrote.