The Affordable Health Care Act ~AKA~ “ObamaCares”


 

 

 

There is much misinformation and out right lying concerning The Affordable Health Care Act, lovingly known as “ObamaCares”, because he does care. It is my hope, after reading this information and comprehending the facts & truth, that you will have a clearer picture of what The AHCA actually is all about and how it effects you.

 

 

 

 

5 IMPORTANT NUMBERS ON HEALTH REFORM

 

 

54 million Americans have coverage for preventive services free of cost.

Insurers are now required to cover a number of recommended preventive services, such as cancer, diabetes and blood pressure screenings, without additional cost sharing such as co-pays or deductibles.

 

 

 

 

 

32.5 million people with Medicare who used a free preventive service.

The new health reform law eliminated any deductible or copay for many preventive services or for a new Annual Wellness Visit. In 2011, more than 20 million seniors received a cardiovascular screening free of charge

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.6 million seniors have saved $2.1 billion on their prescription drugs.

That’s an average of $600 for every senior who hit the gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage, often called the ‘donut hole.’ Seniors now receive 50 percent discounts on covered brand name drugs in the donut hole, new discounts on generic drugs, and the donut hole will be closed in 2020

 

 

 

 

 

3.1 million more young adults have health insurance through their parent's plan.

Under the law, most young adults who can’t get coverage through their jobs can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26.

50,000 uninsured people with pre-existing conditions have gained coverage.The Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan provides critical care to people who have been blocked out of the system due to cancer, heart disease, and other pre-existing condition.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there. For too long, too many hard working Americans paid the price for policies that handed free rein to insurance companies. President Obama’s health reform law gives hard working families the security they deserve. The Affordable Care Act holds insurance companies accountable, lowers health care costs, gives Americans more freedom and control in their health care choices and improves the quality of care.
Health insurance reform will NOT use your tax dollars to fund abortions.
Businesses will NOT suffer under health reform.
The Affordable Care Act will help bring down the cost of health care.
Health reform will NOT lead to a government takeover of health care.
Employers will not stop offering insurance to their workers when the law is passed.
The Affordable Care Act‘s individual responsibility requirement IS constitutional.
Seniors with Medicare are paying less for prescription drugs: More than 5.1 million people on Medicare have saved over $3.1 billion on prescription drugs, including a one-time $250 rebate.
More than 105 million Americans no longer have lifetime dollar limits on their coverage: Under the new health care law, insurers can no longer impose lifetime dollar limits on care and doctor/hospital visits.
More Americans have access to free preventive services: In 2011, approximately 54 million Americans had their prevention coverage improve in their private health insurance plans. And an estimated 32.5 million people with Medicare have received improved coverage and care.
Since September 2010, approximately 3.1 million young adults have gained coverage through the provision of the Affordable Care Act that enables children up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan.
Thanks in part to new tools and resources provided by the Affordable Care Act, health care fraud prevention and enforcement efforts recovered nearly $4.1 billion in taxpayer dollars in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 and $10.7 billion over the last 10 months.

Understanding the Reforms 

Here are the key facts about the Affordable Care Act.

 

105 million Americans no longer have lifetime dollar limits on their coverage. In the past, insurance companies could take advantage of you. They could deny coverage to children who had asthma or were born with a heart defect, put a lifetime cap on the amount of care they would pay for, or cancel your coverage when you got sick just by finding an accidental mistake in your paperwork. The Affordable Care Act creates a new Patient’s Bill of Rights that protects you from these and other abusive practices.

 

End to Pre-Existing Condition Discrimination: Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition like asthma and diabetes, providing peace of mind for parents of the more than 17.6 million children with pre-existing conditions. Starting in 2014, no American can be discriminated against due to a pre-existing condition.

 

End to Limits on Care: In the past, some people with cancer or other chronic illnesses ran out of insurance coverage because their health care expenses reached a dollar limit imposed by their insurance company. Under the health care law, insurers can no longer impose lifetime dollar limits on essential health benefits and annual limits are being phased out by 2014. More than 105 million Americans no longer have lifetime limits thanks to the new law.

 

End to Coverage Cancellations: Insurance companies can no longer drop your coverage when you get sick due to a mistake you made on your application.

More Affordable Coverage

The law helps you by bringing down health care costs and making sure your health care dollars are spent wisely. Insurance companies will now be accountable to their customers for how they are spending premium dollars, and how much they are raising rates. Plus, the new law will help lower costs through new tax credits and new marketplaces where insurers will have to compete for your business.

 

 

Value for Your Premium Dollar: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act’s 80/20 rule, if insurance companies don’t spend at least 80 percent of your premium dollar on medical care and quality improvements rather than advertising, overhead and bonuses for executives, they will have to provide you a rebate. The first rebates will be made in the summer of 2012.

 

Stopping Unreasonable Rate Increases: In every State and for the first time ever, insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more.

 

Small Business Tax Credits: Small businesses have long paid a premium price for health insurance – often 18 percent more than larger employers. The tax credit will benefit an estimated 2 million workers who get their insurance from an estimated 360,000 small employers who will receive the credit in 2011 alone.

 

 

 

Better Access to Care

The health care law builds on what works in our health care system. And it fixes what’s broken by providing you with more health insurance choices and better access to care.

 

Free Prevention Benefits: Insurers are now required to cover a number of recommended preventive services, such as cancer, diabetes and blood pressure screenings, without additional cost sharing such as co-pays or deductibles. Already, 54 million Americans with private health coverage have gotten better preventive services coverage as a result.

 

Coverage for Young Adults: Under the law, most young adults who can’t get coverage through their jobs can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26 – a change that has already allowed 3.1 million young adults to get health coverage and given their families peace of mind.

 

Coverage for Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions:Before the law, many Americans with pre-existing conditions were locked or priced out of the health insurance market. More than 50,000 Americans with pre-existing conditions have gained coverage through the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. This temporary program makes health coverage available and more affordable for individuals who are uninsured and have been denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. In 2014, insurance discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition will be illegal.

 

Affordable Insurance Exchanges: Affordable Insurance Exchanges are one-stop marketplaces where consumers can choose a private health insurance plan that fits their health needs. Starting in 2014, they will offer to the public the same kinds of insurance choices members of Congress will have. Exchanges will select health plans qualified to offer coverage; facilitate consumer assistance, shopping and enrollment; and coordinate eligibility for the Exchange and potential premium assistance. Already, 33 States and the District of Columbia are on their way to building Exchanges, having received at total of nearly $670 million in Exchange Establishment Grants.

 

 

Strengthening Medicare

Nearly 50 million older Americans and Americans with disabilities rely on Medicare each year, and the new health care law makes Medicare stronger by adding new benefits, fighting fraud, and improving care for patients. The life of the Medicare Trust Fund will be extended to at least 2024 as a result of reducing waste, fraud, and abuse, and slowing cost growth in Medicare. And, over the next ten years, the law will save the average person in Medicare $4,200. People with Medicare who have the prescription drug costs that hit the so-called donut hole will save an average of over $16,000.

 

Lower Cost Prescription Drugs: In the past, as many as one in four seniors went without a prescription every year because they couldn’t afford it. To help these seniors, the law provides relief for people in the donut hole – the ones with the highest prescription drug costs. As a first step, in 2010, nearly four million people in the donut hole received a $250 check to help with their costs. In 2011, 3.6 million people with Medicare received a 50 percent discount worth a total of $2.1 billion, or an average of $604 per person, on their brand name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole. Seniors will see additional savings on covered brand-name and generic drugs while in the coverage gap until the gap is closed in 2020.

 

Free Preventive Services: Under the new law, seniors can receive recommended preventive services such as flu shots, diabetes screenings, as well as a new Annual Wellness Visit, free of charge. So far, more than 32.5 million seniors have already received one or more free preventive services, including the new Annual Wellness Visit.

 

Fighting Fraud: The health care law helps stop fraud with tougher screening procedures, stronger penalties, and new technology. Thanks in part to these efforts, we recovered $4.1 billion in taxpayer dollars in 2011, the second year recoveries hit this record-breaking level. Total recoveries over the last three years were $10.7 billion. Prosecutions are way up, too: the number of individuals charged with fraud increased from 821 in fiscal year 2008 to 1,430 in fiscal year 2011 – nearly a 75 percent increase.

 

Improving Care Coordination and Quality: Through the newly established Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, this Administration is testing and supporting innovative new health care models that can reduce costs and strengthen the quality of health care. So far, it has introduced 16 initiatives involving over 50,000 health care providers that will touch the lives of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in all 50 states.

 

Providing Choices while Lowering Costs: The number of seniors who joined Medicare Advantage plans increased by 17 percent between 2010 and 2012 while the premiums for such plans dropped by 16 percent – and seniors across the nation have a choice of health plans.

 

For too long, too many hard working Americans paid the price for policies that handed free rein to insurance companies. President Obama’s health reform law gives hard-working families the security they deserve. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 3.1 million more young adults have health insurance on their parent’s plan, three million seniors have received a 50 percent discount on their prescription drugs, and millions of Americans now have access to no-cost preventive services to help them stay healthy.

 

Abusive insurance practices are becoming a thing of the past. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act helps small businesses with the cost of providing health insurance for their employees and helps doctors and other health providers care for their patients more effectively.

Women & Families

The new health care law builds on what works in our health care system. And it fixes what’s broken by making improvements in several key areas. It protects you from the worst insurance company abuses. It makes health care more affordable. It gives you better access to care.

 

Ending Insurance Company Abuses: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurers can no longer put a lifetime cap on how much care they will pay for if you get sick or cancel your coverage when you make a mistake on your paperwork. Starting in 2014, health insurers will be prohibited from charging you more because you are a woman.

 

More Affordable Care: Today, we have the new 80/20 rule: insurance companies must spend at least 80 cents of your premium dollar on your health care or improvements to care. And insurance companies must publicly justify their actions if they want to raise premiums by 10 percent or more. And States have more power to block them.

 

Coverage for Young Adults: Under the Affordable Care Act, young adults under age 26 can stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until age 26 – a change that has already allowed 3.1 million young adults to get health coverage and given their families peace of mind.

 

Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions: The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan in every State offers an option to people who have been locked out of the insurance market because of a pre-existing condition like cancer or heart disease. And under the new law, insurers can no longer deny coverage to children under age 19 because of a pre-existing condition like asthma and diabetes. Starting in 2014, health insurers will be prohibited from discriminating against anyone due to pre-existing conditions.

 

Preventive Benefits: All new health plans must now cover preventive services ranging from mammograms to vaccinations for your child, without making you pay a copay or deductible.

 

 

Young Adults

The Affordable Care Act expands young adults’ affordable options for health insurance and gives hard-working families the security they need and important new benefits. The new law holds insurance companies accountable, gets rid of the worst insurance industry practices and puts patients first. 

 

 

Coverage for Young Adults: Under the law, most young adults who can’t get coverage through their jobs can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26 – a change that has already allowed 3.1 million young adults to get health coverage and given their families peace of mind.

 

Get Preventive Services: You can get free preventive services that keep you healthy. If you are in a new insurance plan, you can receive recommended preventive services, like flu shots, HIV and cancer screenings, contraceptive counseling and FDA-approved birth control (starting in August), for free. Visit www.healthcare.gov/prevention for a full list of services and plan dates.

 

Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions: If you have been uninsured for six months and can’t buy private insurance because of a pre-existing condition, you can join the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan. And under the new law, no plan can deny coverage to people under age 19 because of a pre-existing condition. Starting in 2014, health insurers will be prohibited from discriminating against anyone due to pre-existing conditions.

 

Ending Insurance Company Abuses: The new health care law will make sure that insurers can’t deny, cap, or limit your coverage. In the past, some people with cancer or other chronic illnesses ran out of insurance coverage because their health care expenses reached a dollar limit imposed by their insurance company. Under the new health care law, insurers can no longer impose lifetime dollar limits on essential health benefits and annual limits are being phased out by 2014. Also, insurance companies can no longer drop your coverage when you get sick due to a mistake you made on your application.

 

More Affordable Care: Today, we have the new 80/20 rule: insurance companies must spend at least 80 cents of your premium dollar on your health care or improvements to care. And insurance companies must publicly justify their actions if they want to raise premiums by 10 percent or more. And an increasing number of States have more power to block unreasonable premium increases from taking effect.

Seniors

The new health care law will help save money for seniors and ensure people with Medicare can see the doctor they know and trust.

 

Cheaper Prescription Drugs: If you’re in the donut hole, you will receive a 50 percent discount when buying brand-name prescription drugs covered by Medicare Part D. The discount is applied automatically when you fill your prescription—you don’t have to do anything to get it. These changes are already saving seniors billions of dollars. And by 2020, the donut hole will be closed.

 

End to Limits on Care: In the past, some people with cancer or other chronic illnesses ran out of insurance coverage because their health care expenses reached a dollar limit imposed by their insurance company. Under the health care law, insurers can no longer impose lifetime dollar limits on essential health benefits and annual limits are being phased out by 2014. More than 105 million Americans no longer have lifetime limits thanks to the new law.

 

Free Preventive Services: Medicare now covers certain preventive services, like mammograms or colonoscopies for free. You also can get a free annual wellness visit.

 

Better Coordinated Care: Many doctors, hospitals, and other providers are taking advantage of new options to help them work better as teams to provide you the highest quality care possible. They are working to get you the care you need at the time you need it.

 

Fighting Fraud: The Affordable Care Act builds on our efforts to combat fraud and abuse. These efforts are saving billions of dollars in money that was being stolen from people with Medicare. And thanks to these efforts and other reforms, the life of the Medicare Trust fund will be extended.

 

Protecting Medicare Benefits: Under the new health reform law, your existing Medicare-covered benefits can’t be reduced or taken away. As always, you will be able to choose your own doctors.

 

 

Employers

The Affordable Care Act makes it easier for businesses to find better coverage options and builds on the employer-based insurance market already in place. It stops insurance companies from taking advantage of you, giving the consumer and business owner more control and making health care coverage more affordable.

 

Building on Employer-Based Insurance Market: The average US family and their employer pay $1,000 a year extra in health insurance costs to cover care for the uninsured. By bringing the uninsured into the system and tackling the drivers of health care costs, the new health care law will make health insurance more affordable for businesses.

 

More Affordable Care: Today, we have the new 80/20 rule: insurance companies must spend at least 80 cents of your premium dollar on your health care or improvements to care. And insurance companies must publicly justify their actions if they want to raise premiums by 10 percent or more for small businesses. And an increasing number of States have more power to block unreasonable premium increases from taking effect.

 

Common Sense Approach: The new health care law makes improvements to the health insurance system we already have, and gives States significant flexibility to implement the new law in the way that makes sense for their insurance markets. And, the new law does not add a dime to the deficit. According to Congress’s official independent scorekeeper, the Congressional Budget Office, the new law is completely paid for through a wide range of cost-saving reforms, from cracking down on health care fraud to helping hospitals and doctors spend their health dollars more wisely.

 

 

For Small Business Owners:

Small Business Tax Credit: Small businesses have historically paid 18 percent more for health coverage than larger employees. Today, a tax credit is available to businesses with 25 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees and average wages of $50,000 or less. To get more details and learn whether you might qualify, you should visit the IRS website.

 

Finding Insurance Options: For the first time ever, small businesses have access to a new tool that lets them research and compare their health insurance options in one place –HealthCare.gov. Just enter some basic information about your business, and you’ll see a list of all the insurance options available in your area, broken down by how much they cost and what coverage they offer.

 

And starting in 2014, Affordable Insurance Exchanges will make buying health insurance easy. Small business owners will be able to offer their employees a range of plans from different insurers just like big employers do, while still receiving a single bill and writing a single check. They’ll also still be able to choose how much of their employees’ insurance costs they want to cover. And because small business owners will be joining a much bigger risk pool, they’ll no longer be vulnerable to sharp swings in their rates based on the health of a few employees.

 

 

Health Care Providers

The new health care law enacts comprehensive reforms that will hold health insurance companies accountable, protect you and your patients, and guarantee choice and control. It also reduces the burden of uncompensated care on physicians and hospitals by making access to care easier and more affordable than ever.

 

Ending Insurance Company Abuses: Insurers can no longer cancel coverage when a patient gets sick and set lifetime benefit limits that leave patients without coverage in times of catastrophic need. And if insurers don’t spend at least 80% of premium dollars on patient care and quality improvements, they’ll have to provide a rebate to consumers. These protections will end the worst insurance company abuses and put patients and providers ahead of company profits.

 

Expanding Access to Coverage: The new law will help reduce the burden of uncompensated care on physicians and hospitals by making access to care easier and more affordable than ever before for all Americans. From allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s plan until age 26 to implementing newPre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans people locked out of the current insurance market to the Affordable Insurance Exchanges that begin in 2014 to help those who lack choices today get health coverage, the new law will give more Americans the security of affordable health insurance.

 

Cutting Red Tape: New rules save time and money for physicians and other health care providers by allowing you to spend more time in the exam room, and less on administration.

 

Opportunities and Incentives to Coordinate Care: The new law created a new Innovation Center in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services –specifically designed to identify and test new care and payment models to deliver greater value for our health system and then to rapidly spread what works. Thanks to input from hundreds of health care providers, we’ve developed a menu of initiatives that engage different types of providers and payers. Each initiative holds the promise of reducing health care costs, improving quality, and improving health care.

 

Strengthening the Workforce: The new health care law also invests in training and placing thousands of new doctors and nurses, and it provides bonus payments to primary care doctors. The new law is also creating and expanding health centers across the country. As a provider, this will help you see and spend more time with your patients.

 

 

People with Disabilities

If you’re living with a disability, private health insurance may be hard to come by. Even if you can afford to buy it, it probably doesn’t cover all of your needs. Worrying about where to get coverage and the cost of your care is the last thing you want to do. The Affordable Care Act is expanding your options for health insurance and making them more affordable.

 

Ending Insurance Company Abuses: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurers can no longer put a lifetime cap on how much care they will pay for if you get sick, or cancel your coverage when you make a mistake on your paperwork.

 

Ending Discrimination against Pre-Existing Conditions:Under the new health care law, plans are no longer allowed to deny or exclude coverage to any child under age 19 based on a pre-existing condition, including a disability. Starting in 2014, these same plans won’t be able to discriminate against anyone with a pre-existing condition.

 

Expanding Affordable Coverage: If you have been uninsured for six months and can’t buy private insurance because of a pre-existing condition, you can join the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. To find out about plans available in your State, please visit www.pcip.gov.

 

New Long-Term and Community-Based Care Options: The new law builds on successful models and provides incentives to States to expand efforts to offer people with disabilities more opportunities to receive the long term supports and services they require in their communities, through programs such as Money Follows the Person and Community First Choice Option.

 

There you have it, facts & truth…without the fear mongering, lies & misinformation.

 

Pass It On.

25 Responses

  1. […] The Affordable Health Care Act ~AKA~ “ObamaCares” […]

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  10. Reblogged this on cadesertvoice and commented:
    Excellent information on the Affordable Health Care Act and a great reference source!

  11. Informative and to the point, a hard thing to do when dealing with bureaucratic legislation. More people need to know the key points of this issue instead of the talking points the media provide which only add to the confusion and anger over a bill that I too believe is truly intended to help not profit

    • Very well said Mr. Henneman. Thank you for logic & common sense. The talking points on most political issues leave much to be desired. Nice to make your acquaintance.

  12. I’m glad that consumers will be getting more affordable healthcare with this legislation however I do think it is important for consumers to be aware of corruption in the medical industry.

    Psychiatric drugs for instance cause brain damage and there may be other drugs prescribed by hospitals that are harmful.

    People are on too many drugs in America and I suspect that a lot of the drugs they are on is not necessary. In America you have to live by the motto “Caveat Emptor” which is latin for “buyer beware”.

    • Unfortunately, that is true in all countries when it comes to prescription drugs….not just America. Pharmaceutical companies are pushing their deadly drugs all over the globe.

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