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Who the Health Ruling Impacts Most

Those who buy their own insurance

Keith Bell / Shutterstock.com

The new law will requires states to provide online “exchanges” with the aim of making it easier for people to find and afford individual plans that suit their needs. This, plus the new pre-existing condition mandate, will help self-employed and unemployed people get more affordable and complete coverage, Nash says. Currently, 60% or 16 million adults found it “very difficult or impossible” to find an individual plan they could afford, according to a 2011 Commonwealth Fund report. Nearly three-in-five adults – or 43 million people – are uninsured.

What was at stake: In most U.S. states, those applying for individual plans are often given more rigorous medical examinations and given premiums rated on health, gender and age, Potter says. The self-employed would have remained the most uninsured, he says. Jessica Waltman, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Health Underwriters, says employers often subsidize their employee benefits, and – since group insurance policies carry less risk – they’re often less expensive.

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