The Affordable Care Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by the President in March 2010, gives you better health security by putting in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that hold insurance companies accountable, lower health care costs, guarantee more choice, and enhance the quality of care for all Americans.
The Act will not be implemented all at once. Portions of the law have already taken effect like provisions that implement a new Patient’s Bill of Rights that put an end to some of the worst insurance company practices.
If you purchase or join a new plan on or after September 23, 2010 insurance companies must:
Cover recommended preventive services without charging out of pocket costs: Services like mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations, pre-natal and new baby care will be covered, and insurance companies will be prohibited from charging deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance.
Provide an opportunity to appeal coverage decisions: Consumers will be guaranteed the right to appeal insurance company decisions to an independent third party.
Guarantee enrollees their choice of primary care provider: Consumers will have their choice of provider within the plan’s network of doctors, including OB-GYNs and pediatricians, without a referral, as well as out-of-network emergency care.
These three provisions will benefit up to 88 million people by 2013.
Other changes including new benefits, protections and cost savings will be implemented between now and 2014.
The Affordable Care Act builds a bridge to 2014 when a new competitive insurance marketplace will be established. The new marketplace will include state-run health insurance exchanges where millions of Americans and small businesses will be able to purchase affordable coverage, and have the same choices of insurance as Members of Congress.
The Affordable Care Act will bring down costs, improve the quality of health care delivered to all Americans and expand coverage to 32 million Americans.
Independent experts have found that the new law helps reduce costs for families and businesses, cuts the deficit and strengthens Medicare, adding years to the trust fund while maintaining seniors guaranteed benefits.
The Congressional Budget Office, the government’s non-partisan scorekeeper, said the Affordable Care Act would save over $100 billion over the next ten years, and over $1 trillion in the following decade.
Many provisions in the Affordable Care Act are already being implemented, and other changes will be implemented through 2014 and beyond. The law is already strengthening our health care system. Provisions of the law that have already been implemented include:
Important consumer protections and a new Patient’s Bill of Rights that end some of the worst insurance company abuses.
New resources for states to help crack down on health insurance premium increases, protect consumers and develop health insurance exchanges where consumers will have the same health insurance choices as Members of Congress.
The establishment of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan to provide coverage to Americans who have been uninsured because of a pre-existing condition.
Launch of the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program to make it easier for businesses to provide coverage to retirees who are not eligible for Medicare.
Distribution of important information that will help small businesses claim the law’s small business tax credit.
Cost saving measures, including provisions that will make our system more efficient.