Learn More About Affordable Care Act Via These Official Online Resources
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, brings accessible and affordable healthcare to millions more Americans, including many who live right here in our community. Many of the benefits are available now, with more coming online by January 2014. Since more than half the people polled recently by the Kaiser Family Foundation said they felt they did not have enough information to understand how the ACA benefitted them personally, we'd like to provide you with a quick reference and some resources regarding some of the important benefits for individuals, families and small business owners.
Here are a few of the key provisions of the bill that are already in effect:
- Insurance companies may no longer deny coverage to children under 19 because of pre-existing conditions.
- A Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan provides coverage options for affected adults.
- Young adults are allowed to remain on their parents' plan until they turn 26.
- Insurance companies may no longer deny payments due to a technical mistake or error on a patient's application.
- Insurance companies may no longer impose lifetime limits on coverage for essential benefits, such as hospital stays.
- Restrictions on how insurance companies may impose annual dollar limits on essential benefits. (As of 2014, there will be no dollar limits.)
- Tax credits for small businesses (fewer than 25 employees) and non-profits to help them provide coverage for their staff. (At least 90% of all Yuba-Sutter businesses are small enough to qualify.)
- Tax-free rebate checks of $250 to seniors as they reach the "donut hole" in prescription coverage, and 50% discount on certain brand-name drugs. (The drug list will be expanded by 2014.)
- Free wellness visits and preventive care for seniors on Medicare.
- All new health plans must cover preventive services such as colonoscopies and mammograms, with no deductible or co-pay.
- Insurance companies must spend at least 80% of premiums on benefits and quality improvement or give rebates to policyholders, and must justify premium increases.
For details about these and other benefits in effect now and in the future, visit the links below:
The official U.S. website for information about the Affordable Care Act, with a guide to insurance coverage tailored to your personal criteria: http://www.healthcare.gov/
This page provides a full list of ACA provision, arranged by effective date: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/full.html
Wellness and Prevention - this site guides you to resources to help you keep healthy, including free preventive services provided under the ACA: http://www.healthfinder.gov/
For Persons with Disabilities or Pre-existing Medical Conditions:
For Young Adults:
Learn about your options for coverage on your parents' plan until age 26
For Low-income Individuals and Families:
Medicaid - federal gov't website: http://www.medicaid.gov/
State of California Health Care Services/Medi-Cal: http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/Pages/default.aspx
For Small Businesses (under 25 employees):
Learn about Tax Credits for Providing Insurance Coverage