The Affordable Care Act: What has it done for you lately?

This week marks two years since landmark health care reform legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was signed into law.  While some of the law’s major provisions have yet to take effect, many of the rule-changes and programs that have been rolled out over the last two years are beginning to have an impact in Oklahoma.  Individuals buying insurance in the private market, families obtaining coverage through their employer, and seniors who rely on Medicare have all seen their costs go down and the quality of their benefits improve.  This post catalogs some of the ways Oklahomans have benefited under the Affordable Care Act:


  • 576 Oklahomans are now insured through the state’s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan; these individuals were locked out of the coverage system because of a pre-existing condition and previously unable to obtain health insurance
  • 1,197,000 residents are free from lifetime limits on their health plan
  • 616,000 Oklahomans received preventive services from their insurer with no cost-sharing, i.e. cancer screenings and flu shots


  • 37,262 young adults in Oklahoma were able to keep their insurance coverage by staying on their parents plan until the age of 26
  • $14.4 million in support for Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs in Oklahoma which bring health professionals to meet with at-risk families in their homes and offer education and guidance on health care, early education, parenting skills, child abuse prevention, and nutrition
  • $1.8 million to provide pregnant and parenting teens and women with supportive services to help them complete high school or college and access health care, child care, and housing


  • 54,173 people with Medicare saved an average of $525 per person on their covered brandname prescription drugs, a total savings of $28.5 million in Oklahoma
  • 420,097 people with Medicare in Oklahoma received free preventive services, i.e. mammograms, colonoscopies, and a free annual wellness visit with their doctor

The ultimate fate of the Affordable Care Act rests in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Until we know if the so-called ‘individual mandate’ or Medicaid expansion provisions will be upheld, future benefits to Oklahomans under the health law are difficult to calculate.  However, it’s easy to see that the health care situation of hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans has already improved as a result of the new regulations and cost-sharing provisions that have already been enacted.  For more on the new law and the health care system in our state, visit our health care information page.


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