On October 1, 2013 the Affordable Care Act Health Care exchanges opened for business. Despite software glitches and overloaded networks, people have managed to compare plans; and get signed up for health insurance. People can also call and get applications to download to fill out. People have to sign up for health insurance during the open enrollment period. This year that runs from October 1st to March 31, 2014.
Consumers have seen:
- Savings on their premiums that have ranged from small to large substantial amounts of money for the person and their family. The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation set up a generic cost calculator for people to estimate their costs and any subsidies they might get.
- Better health insurance policies that cover more than their current plans
- The ability for people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance
- The ability for the homeless and other low income American’s to now qualify for Medicaid, if their state participated in the Medicaid expansion
The Nevada exchange is reporting that people are calling for coverage in tears over being able to sign up for health coverage.
A CNN/ORC International Poll released in May 2013 showed that out of those who said they did not like the Affordable Care Act 16% said it was because the law did not go far enough. Polls released in October show that support for the Affordable Care Act is on the rise. With 50% of voters saying that they don’t want to eliminate funding for the law, nor did a majority want the government to shut down over the law. Since the Affordable Care Act gets its funding through other sources it is not impacted by the shut down.
Here is a video by the Kaiser Family Foundation that covers the ACA:
The White House did this video and it covers the highlights of the new coverage under the law.
- The health care law is responsible for more transparency and explanations of coverage
- Insurance Companies cannot deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions
- Insurance companies can’t charge different for men and women.
- Eliminates lifetime limits on essential medical expenses
- Prohibits insurers from dropping coverage
- Provides consumer assistance
- Provides small business tax credits
- Small Businesses with less than 50 employees can have employees sign up for insurance through the exchanges
- Protects against health care fraud
- Provides Prescription discounts for Seniors
- Children can stay on parents plan until age 26
- Ensuring coverage for individuals participating in clinical trials
- Insurance companies have to spend at least 80% of all premium dollars on health care services and health care quality improvement. If they don’t meet that goal they must provide a rebate to consumers.
- Caps annual out of pocket medical and drug expenses
- Pays physicians based on value not volume
- Regulates annual limits on insurance coverage
- Holds insurance companies accountable for unreasonable rate hikes
- Allows states to expand Medicaid
- Increases payments for Rural Health Care Providers
- Dictates essential health benefits that all plans must now cover:
- Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
- Emergency services
- Hospitalization (such as surgery)
- Maternity and newborn care (care before and after your baby is born)
- Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
- Laboratory services
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services
Obamacare is not healthcare (https://roseylinn.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/obamacare-is-not-healthcare/)
ObamaCare Vs. Affordable Care Act (https://roseylinn.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/obamacare-vs-affordable-care-act/)
President Obama Speech on Shut Down (https://roseylinn.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/president-obama-speech-on-shut-down/)
Despite Website Glitches, These People Have Successfully Enrolled In Obamacare Coverage (http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/10/03/2729251/obamacare-enrollment-online/)
What Key Dates Do I Need To Know (https://www.healthcare.gov/what-key-dates-do-i-need-to-know/#part=1)
Meet Butch Matthews, A Republican Who Came to Love ObamaCare After Realizing It Will Save Him $13,000 (http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/10/02/2721501/butch-matthews-obamacare-convert/)
The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation Calculator (http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/)
How A Rand Paul Republican From Alabama Learned to Love ObamaCare (http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/10/04/2730801/joshua-pittman/)
Diana Only Heard Negative Things About ObamaCare in Texas, But Decided to Sign Up Anyway (http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/10/03/2721961/diana-obamacare-signup/)
How ObamaCare Helped Paul, A Homeless California Man, Finally Get Insurance (http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/10/11/2761931/homeless-obamacare/)
Nevada Residents Are Calling Their ObamaCare Hotline in Tears, Desperate for Health Coverage (http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/10/04/2732141/uninsured-nevadans-obamacare/)
Obamacare Has Gotten More Popular Since the GOP Shut Down the Government to Defund It http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/10/11/2769271/obamacare-shutdown-popular-poll/
Affordable Care Act Facts (http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/timeline/index.html)
Affordable Care Act Facts Timeline (http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/timeline/timeline-text.html)
What does marketplace health insurance cover? (https://www.healthcare.gov/what-does-marketplace-health-insurance-cover/)
Preventative Care Benefits (https://www.healthcare.gov/what-are-my-preventive-care-benefits/)