Health Insurance Reform in 2011- What you need to know
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 was signed into law on March 23, 2010. A second piece of legislation, the Health Care and Education Affordability Act of 2010 was subsequently enacted to reflect changes made to the first act under the Senate’s reconciliation rules.
Together loosely referred to by many as “Obamacare”, this sweeping legislation is likely to have extensive and expansive consequences (both intended and unintended) on American citizens and business for many years to come. Our belief is that the majority of Americans do not want these laws repealed and they were part of a broken system which was in desperate need of repair. As early as September of 2010 many parts of the law became effective and many people started receiving benefits. Additional benefits will become effective by the year 2020. The benefits are as follows:
– Children under 19 can no longer be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
– Young adults up to age of 26 can stay on their parents’ policies even if they are married and do not live at home.
– Medicare enrollees now receive wellness and prevention benefits with no cost-sharing or co-pays. They will receive discounts of 50 percent on their medications when they reach the gap or “donut hole.”
– Small businesses are receiving tax credits for providing health care benefits for their workers.
– Women now have direct access to OB/GYNs without a referral.
– Lifetime limits on insurance payouts are now eliminated; annual limits are greatly restricted and will eventually be eliminated.
– Expanded funding for community health centers will increase access to medical care in underserved areas.
– Persons who have been uninsured for six months because of pre-existing conditions now have access to a Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan which is http://www.gettinguscovered.org/ in Colorado.
– Insurance companies can no longer drop people because of illness.
– Persons will have the right to appeal decisions made by insurers.
– Insurance companies will be required to spend 80 to 85 percent of our premium dollars on health care rather than bonuses for CEOs.
– Hospitals will no longer receive Medicaid reimbursements for patients re-admitted for hospital-acquired infections.
– Members of Congress and their staff members will receive their health insurance from the same exchanges that are established in 2014.