Affordable Health Care Act - What is Health Care Reform?
President Obama’s health care reform, officially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a law that was signed into effect on March 23, 2010. The new law sets certain standards that all insurers must meet and it mandates that all health plans offered to those who buy health insurance on their own or in small groups include a set of “essential health benefits”.
These “essential health benefits” that must be included are items and services within at least the following 10 categories: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
Beginning October 1, 2013, people will able to shop around for health insurance through sites, known as “exchanges” called health insurance marketplaces that are set up by either the federal government or individual states. The exchanges are state or federally run online marketplaces where customers can shop for affordable quality health insurance. These exchanges will allow people who don’t have health insurance to find coverage that fits their budget and meets their needs. Small businesses with less than 100 full-time employees can also use the exchange to purchase insurance for their employees (the small business marketplace is called the SHOP exchange). The Health Insurance Exchanges will be open as of October 1, 2013, but the insurance coverage starts on January 1, 2014.
An estimated 50 million Americans will be able to enroll for health insurance coverage beginning in just a few weeks as part of this new law. But many are still unaware of how to access it and the costs associated with it.
As an individual or family member of a person with developmental disabilities, you should be informed about what this may mean to you. There are many sites on the internet to get up to date information: Here is the link to the “U.S. Department of Health and Human Services” that you may want to take a look at: http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/timeline/timeline-text.html#2014
Accountable Care Organizations and other programs help doctors and
health care providers work together to deliver better care.
Open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace begins on
· 2014: All Americans will have access to affordable health insurance options. The Marketplace will allow individuals and small businesses to compare health plans side by side. Middle and low-income families will get tax credits that cover a significant portion of the cost of coverage. And the Medicaid program will be expanded to cover more low-income Americans. Millions of people who were previously uninsured will gain coverage.
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