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June 2015

Neurology and the Affordable Care Act

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(6):623-624. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.0083

The Affordable Care Act is reshaping US health care. Major expansions in access have allowed millions of Americans to gain health coverage. New models of care delivery and payment are leading to fundamental shifts in outpatient and inpatient treatment. As specialists and diagnosticians, neurologists should understand the basics of this legislation and take advantage of opportunities on behalf of patients.

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, more Americans than ever are covered by health insurance. As of March 2015, 28 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid to cover families with income up to 133% of the federal poverty line. All states are covered by insurance exchanges that offer access to subsidized private coverage up to 400% of the poverty line. From 2012 to 2014, millions of Americans have taken advantage of these opportunities, and the number of uninsured in the United States has decreased from 37 to 29 million.1