The Affordable Care Act and Stroke

STROKEAHA: July 1, 2014

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted on March 23, 2010, and has important implications for stroke care. The ACA is a comprehensive reform, although the signature component is the expansion of health insurance primarily by expanding Medicaid eligibility and by providing subsidies for consumers to purchase private insurance in online marketplaces called exchanges. Although many ACA provisions went into effect with its passage or have been phased in during the past several years, the Medicaid expansion and insurance exchanges went into effect more recently in January 2014. In this article, we begin by describing the working-age stroke population. We then discuss the health insurance provisions of the ACA, which largely target the working-age stroke population, and implications for racial/ethnic and geographic disparities. We then focus on how the ACA may affect stroke prevention, treatment, and postacute care (PAC). We conclude by discussing how health system reform under the ACA could affect patients with stroke. Read More