Predicting the Effects of the Affordable Care Act

A Comparative Analysis of Health Policy Microsimulation Models

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) calls for significant policy changes that have meaningful and widespread implications for the U.S. health system. Microsimulation models were utilized throughout the legislative process that led to the passage of the ACA, and these models continue to play a prominent role in understanding the likely effects of federal health care reform provisions on insurance coverage and cost at both the national level and, increasingly, within individual states. Today, the Federal and state governments, as well as private organizations, are using five major federal health policy simulation models.

This brief aims to explain the basics of microsimulation modeling so that policy-makers and analysts are able to secure the optimal model for their needs.