Gruber outlines key upcoming moments in Affordable Care Act rollout
MIT expert weighs in on health plan’s status as legislation becomes reality.

“We joined the league of industrialized nations who guarantee our citizens cannot be bankrupted by medical costs,” Gruber said.

The closely watched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, which provides health insurance for all U.S. citizens, will face at least three key mileposts in 2014, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber said in a public talk on campus Thursday afternoon.

Gruber, a health-care expert who worked with the Obama administration in developing the program, pointed to the March 31 enrollment deadline, when he expects large numbers of Americans to sign up for health insurance plans, as one good moment for evaluating the success of the act.

In Massachusetts, where a similar state-run plan has existed for several years, Gruber noted, a huge portion of enrollees registered for individual insurance on the state-run exchange, a portal to the plans in the market, just before the deadline arrived.

“If you look at the experience in Massachusetts, right before the deadline is when everyone signs up,” said Gruber, a professor of economics at MIT. “So we’ll see a lot of people [nationally] signing up right before March 31 … and I think we’re going to get probably on the order of 5 [million] to 7 million people in these exchanges.” About 2 million people so far, Gruber noted, have signed up through exchanges or through Medicaid.

Read more at MIT News

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Photo by M. Scott Brauer courtesy of MIT News