Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Covered Persons

As Congress continues to analyze and debate key details of health reform, the numbers of people covered under the current plans is receiving increased attention. According to a new analysis by the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), if fully implemented, the approach to covering the uninsured presented in H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Coverage Act, would reduce the number of uninsured from 8.1 to 3.2 million in rural areas.

This increase in coverage would lead to a slightly higher coverage rate for people living in rural areas than for their urban counterparts (93.4% compared to 92.7%), largely because a lower proportion of rural persons are non‐citizens who would not be covered under any of the proposed reform approaches but also because the reform proposal reaches more low‐income persons who are more represented among the rural uninsured.

The report also provides state-by-state estimates of the effects of the legislation on overall health insurance coverage rates (for both rural and urban persons), as well as estimates of how the previously uninsured would be covered under the provisions of the legislation.