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Study Projects Savings by Affordable Care Act to Individual Health Insurance Policyholders

People with private individual health insurance would likely save $280 a year in out-of-pocket spending for medical care, including prescription drugs, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to an AHRQ study published May 16 online by the journal Health Affairs.

ACA would decrease out-of-pocket spending by $589 for people ages 55 to 64 and by $535 for low-income adults.

The study also estimates that under ACA, the percentage of individually insured adults whose out-of-pocket spending exceeds $6,000 a year would fall from 2.6% to 0.6%.

The study projected an individual’s likely annual savings from 2001 to 2008, based on data from AHRQ’s nationally representative Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which collects data on how Americans use and pay for health care.

About 11 million nonelderly Americans had private individual health insurance in 2009.

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