According to the RAND Corporation study, there are 16.9 million more Americans with health insurance. How did they arrive at this number? The RAND researchers estimate that from September 2013 to February 2015, 22.8 million Americans became newly insured and 5.9 million lost coverage, for a net of 16.9 million newly insured Americans.
Among those newly gaining coverage, 9.6 million people enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans, followed by Medicaid (6.5 million), the individual marketplaces (4.1 million), non-marketplace individual plans (1.2 million) and other insurance sources (1.5 million).
According to the RAND study, one of the reasons why people are signing up is the individual mandate. One of the law’s most controversial provisions, this mandate requires that most adults must have coverage or pay a fine. Early in the policy debate over competing legislative designs for reforming the health care system, analysis using RAND’s COMPARE model showed that the individual mandate would be a powerful policy lever in encouraging the uninsured to get coverage.