Workers Gaining Coverage Under the ACA

The Urban Institute, ACA Implementation — Monitoring and Tracking, July 2017

14 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2019

Date Written: July 20, 2017


One major aim of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to increase health insurance coverage. This brief highlights the ACA’s impact on insurance coverage in working families. Using data from the American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey, we examine changes in total coverage for workers and their family members from 2010 to 2015, by occupation type and state. We find that more than 9.5 million workers and 5.2 million of their family members gained coverage under the first six years of the ACA. We further find that coverage gains were greater for occupations that, in 2010, had lower coverage rates, lower employer-sponsored insurance coverage rates, lower wage rates, and lower weekly earnings. Finally, we observe greater gains for workers residing in Medicaid expansion states. These findings suggest that the ACA coverage provisions were well targeted to need.

Keywords: ACA, health insurance, workers, employment, insurance coverage

JEL Classification: I10, I11, J01, J08, J20

Suggested Citation

Garrett, A. Bowen and Gangopadhyaya, Anuj and Dorn, Stan, Workers Gaining Coverage Under the ACA (July 20, 2017). The Urban Institute, ACA Implementation — Monitoring and Tracking, July 2017, Available at SSRN:

A. Bowen Garrett (Contact Author)

Urban Institute ( email )

500 L'Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, DC 20024
United States


Anuj Gangopadhyaya

Urban Institute ( email )

2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States

Stan Dorn

Families USA ( email )

United States

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