PHOENIX -- A major goal of the Affordable Care Act was to make health care affordable for more Americans. In fact, that law, coupled with Medicaid expansion, means half of Arizona's uninsured population could be covered starting next year.
That low-to-moderate income category is one of the four groups impacted most by this new law. In Arizona that is 1.3 million people. They need help paying insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.
Dr. Dan Derksen, the Director of the Center for Health at University of Arizona believes this is an unprecedented opportunity. "When you're uninsured, your options are fewer and it often takes longer to get treatment," he says. With insurance some of those doors come open, and I think that's the opportunity we have before us."
The others who will see new opportunity are people who were able to retire early and are between 50 and 64 years old.
Kim VanPelt at St. Luke’s Health Initiative says they have been struggling. "We see that this group is most in need of health coverage but yet finds it unaffordable," she says. The hope again is that this new law will make health insurance affordable for them, now that they no longer have coverage through their employers.