The Affordable Care Act has driven millions of more Americans to seek medical care and that has led to an increased demand for healthcare workers, including medical assistants.
However, the number of people signing up through the ACA will increase again in the coming months and years.
“Eight million people signed up for private plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act through April 19, the government reported Thursday,” according to an article in the Kansas City Star. “The total includes a surge of 910,000 enrollments in the past month highlighted by young, low-income applicants.”
The same article added that the Congressional Budget Office expects an average of 13 million people to enroll in private health insurance plans for 2015 using the marketplaces created under the law commonly known as Obamacare. Enrollment surpassed expectations this year, and next year a penalty on people who don’t carry insurance will double to as much as 2 percent of income. The federal website that is expected to serve 35 states next year, HealthCare.gov, no longer suffers regular malfunctions.
“There remains an ample market of uninsured Americans,” the Star added. “About 48 million people lacked coverage in 2012, according to the Census Bureau, and indications are that few of them signed up this year. About 5.5 million people who filed applications for insurance through government exchanges and were told they were eligible to buy a plan never finished the process, according to the federal data.”
“I don’t think we really have the answer for that right now,” Mike Hash, director of the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, said when asked why those applicants didn’t sign up for coverage.
The ACA, or Obamacare, has been controversial, but it is driving up demand for medical employees.
“Love it or hate it, the roll out of the Affordable Care Act has created more jobs in the medical world,” writes Donna Fuscaldo in an article for Fox Business.
The medical field is one of the fastest growing employment sectors in the nation and many jobseekers are consider a career in the healthcare industry due to that growing demand.
“There are many, many jobs in health care,” says Janet Elkin, chief executive of staffing firm Supplemental Healthcare. “More people are being insured. Right now, there’s 7 million and counting [enrolled on state and federal health insurance exchanges]. A safe estimate is that at some point there will be 30 million insured.”
Fuscaldo writes that “the aging baby boomer generation is also helping create more job opportunities as their medical demands increase and they start to leave their jobs.”
In her article, Fuscaldo writes that, according to Elkin, the average age of nurses is around 48 and about one-third of current physicians are looking to retire in the next decade.
“Every segment within health care is seeing greater demand for talent,” adds Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half International. “More people are getting coverage, which means more demand on all the current systems that we have.”
However, it’s not just doctors and nurses that will be in demand. Medical assistants are also a high-demand position where employers are looking for thousands of professionally trained applicants.
“McDonald identifies staff supervisors and managers who are tasked with assisting in the higher volumes of appointments and medical billing as being in high demand, while Elkin says medical scribes are often highly-sought but under the radar,” Fuscaldo writes. “But it doesn’t stop there: McDonald says accountants and finance professionals, technology experts, human resources professionals and attorneys can also find good job opportunities in the health-care industry.”
“Some of the positions are requiring health-care experience, but that’s not always the case,” he says. “With some technology jobs, as long as they have the tech skills they are very transferrable from one company to another.”
If you are looking for a long-term career then the medical assistant field might be a great place to look. Students of a professional medical assistant training program are finding that healthcare employers all across the country are looking for new workers in a variety of medical facilities.