WASHINGTON --A new analysis from AARP's Public Policy Institute finds that nearly half of older adults in the U.S. purchasing health insurance through the nongroup health insurance market faced unaffordable health coverage in 2019, compared to only 30% of younger adults. As a result, many older adults remained uninsured, including 7.5% of all 50-64 year old Illinoisans.
Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), about one in five Black older adults was uninsured. That declined after the ACA was passed, but in Illinois, 10% of Black older adults still did not have health insurance in 2019.
Lack of affordable coverage is one reason why many adults ages 50-64 remain uninsured. AARP's analysis found that in 2019, a 64-year-old earning slightly above the threshold to be eligible for premium subsidies under the ACA faced an average marketplace premium that was nearly 30% of their income.
Two recent policy changes could help older adults purchase affordable coverage. A provision of the American Rescue Plan Act caps the amount an individual pays for health insurance in the marketplace at 8.5% of income for two years.
This provision went into effect April 1, overlapping with a special enrollment period that allows people to purchase marketplace coverage until Aug. 15.
"While the Affordable Care Act has greatly reduced the number of older adults who are uninsured, coverage has remained unaffordable for far too many Illinois residents aged 50-64, including many from multicultural communities," said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois state director. "We want to make sure that any uninsured older adults in Illinois know that new subsidies are now available to them."
AARP Illinois is conducting an informational campaign beginning in June to let older adults know about the special enrollment period and new subsidies that could greatly reduce the cost of health insurance for millions of Americans. They can visit AARP.org/ACA for more information about how to get health insurance during this period.
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.