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AZ Health Reform Fact Sheet 07162010 RR

AZ Health Reform Fact Sheet 07162010 RR

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Health Care Facts: Arizona
Page 1 of 3
National Coalition on Health Care
July 2010
DEMOGRAPHY

The Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act (ACA) was
enacted on March 23, 2010.
Successful implementation
requires cooperation between key
stakeholders, federal and state
agencies, and reform advocacy
organizations. Because the fifty
states vary greatly, each state’s
implementation process will be

unique.

In 2009, Arizona’s population was
estimated to be 6,595,778.1
Arizona is also very diverse, which
makes this state unique in many
ways, including health care needs
and presents a special challenge to
those trying to implement health
reform in the state.

Percent of Population in Arizona per Race / Ethnic Group2
* Others include American Indian & Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian and other
Pacific Islanders.
ARIZONA AND THE UNINSURED: HOW WILL THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT HELP?
While 74.8% of all Arizonans have health insurance, over 1.4 million individuals remain uninsured,3
including 15.3% of Arizona’s children4 and 23.2% of the state’s working population.5

ACA is designed to address these concerns by providing affordable access to health insurance coverage to those individuals who would otherwise be unable to obtain coverage, and to extend current benefits and services provided by Medicaid (a federal and state funded public insurance program that provides health insurance coverage for lowincome and disabled individuals and families).

NEW BENEFITS OF ACA: ITS EFFECT IN ARIZONA
Insurance
Coverage
ACA establishes new requirements for private health insurers in order to make health
care plans more accessible to the public. These requirements include the following:
Effective Immediately: Plans must cover certain preventive health services, such as
vaccines and screenings, without a copay.
Effective September 2010:
o
Insurers will not be allowed to drop any insured person because he/she gets
58.4
4.2
30.1
7.6
White (Non Hispanic)

Black
Hispanic
Other*

Health Reform Facts: Arizona
Health Care Facts: Arizona
Page 2 of 3
National Coalition on Health Care
July 2010
sick or develops a chronic health condition. In addition, ACA allows individuals
to renew health insurance coverage regardless of their health status.
o
Individuals up to the age of 26 can choose to be covered under their parents’
insurance plan.
Effective January 2014:
o
Under the “guaranteed issue” provision, an insurer must accept every
employer and individual in the state that applies for coverage.
o
Insurers cannot exclude people from coverage if they have a preexisting
condition (e.g., asthma, diabetes, or any other longterm condition) or past
illness.
o
All insurers will be required to offer a coverage package that offers essential
benefits.

Small
Business
Assistance

Effective Immediately: ACA makes tax credits available to qualifying small businesses to help them afford coverage for their employees. These tax credits could total up to 50% of a business’ health insurance premiums. In 2008, Arizona had over 85,000 small employers,6 which represented over 70% of the state’s employers.7

Tax Credits
for
Individuals

Effective January 2014: ACA provides a tax credit to qualified individuals so that they may
purchase health insurance through the exchanges. Qualification for the tax credit will be
based on the individual’s household income and his/her number of dependents. A
person who earns between 133% and 400% of the federal poverty level8 may be eligible
for individual tax credits.

Health
Insurance
Exchanges

Effective January 2014: ACA requires that states create an insurance market “exchange”
– a marketplace where people will be able to compare and shop for health insurance.
This will make access to health plans easier and more efficient. U.S. citizens, legal
immigrants, and small businesses will be able to purchase insurance through these

exchanges.

HighRisk
Insurance
Pools

Effective July 2010: Highrisk pools are designed to provide health insurance coverage to people who were previously uninsurable due to a preexisting condition. Gov. Brewer indicated to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that Arizona will not run ACA's new temporary federally funded highrisk pool, but will defer to the federal government to fulfill that role.9

Expansion
of
Medicaid

Effective January 2014: ACA contains provisions that would create new eligibility
requirements for Medicaid. For example, adults under the age of 65 earning less than
133% of the federal poverty level, may be eligible to apply regardless of whether they
have children. It is estimated that approximately 105,400 Arizonans may be able eligible
to join Medicaid.10

IMPLEMENTATION CHALLENGES IN ARIZONA
Successful implementation of ACA will require a joint effort among local, state, and federal agencies, as
well as many nongovernmental organizations. The State of Arizona will face several challenges:
Health Care Workforce – With the potential increase of Arizona's insured population, it is important

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