A previous analyses from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nationwide, 27% of non-elderly adults (52 million people) had a pre-existing condition that would have led to a denial of individual market insurance coverage prior to the ACA. Kaiser has released a new analysis found that nearly 4 in 10 adults would likely be denied individual insurance coverage based on pre-ACA guidelines or under short-term plans based on recent legal and policy developments from the Trump administration. In this analysis rates of pre-existing conditions were mapped across 130 metropolitan and micropolitan areas. Substantial percentages of non-elderly adults with pre-existing conditions are mapped in an interactive section of the report on Kaiser’s website.
The prevalence of pre-existing conditions can vary by 10% or more between cities in the same state. For example, Florence, South Carolina residents with pre-existing conditions estimates 34%, while Charleston or Hilton Head estimates 24%. The Trump administration has continued to pursue policy changes that weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions. For example, expanding short-term insurance plans, which are exempt from ACA-required coverage requirements (including guaranteed access to insurance for people with pre-existing conditions), are a threat to these protections. The administration has filed a brief in the case of state attorneys general who argue that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, stating that the ACA’s protections for pre-existing conditions should be invalidated. This Kaiser brief shows the potential effect of those provisions being invalidated.