Health Care Policy
February 17, 2023
Will extended subsidies further reduce the number of uninsured Americans?

More Americans have health insurance than ever before, a year after passage of the American Rescue Plan, a COVID-19 stimulus measure that extended subsidies for those insured under the Affordable Care Act. Congress passed a law to continue these subsidies for another three years and allow the federal government to negotiate with drugmakers to lower the prices Medicare pays for certain medications. Meanwhile, the Biden administration continues to fight lingering COVID outbreaks and address long-standing issues in health care, and a spate of monkeypox cases posed a challenge for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Photo of President Biden signing Inflation Reduction Act on August 16, 2022. President Biden signs the Inflation Reduction Act on Aug. 16, flanked by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. (left) and House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C. The measure extends expanded subsidies for those who receive health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and allows Medicare to negotiate the price of some medications. (Getty Images/Drew Angerer)

A dozen years after passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more Americans have health insurance than ever before. As of the first quarter of 2022, only 8 percent did not have some form of coverage — the lowest share ever. More than 5.4 million Americans have acquired health insurance since the start of 2022. 1

The expansion of subsidies for those who obtain health insurance through the ACA’s insurance marketplaces contributed to this record low. The higher subsidies were first enacted in 2021 as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, a measure designed to provide economic stimulus during the COVID-19 pandemic.