Happy birthday Obamacare! On March 23, 2010 the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Three years later, we can see how it is improving access to quality, affordable health care for millions of Americans.
Thanks to Obamacare:
- More than 6.3 million seniors and people with disabilities with Medicare have saved more than $6.1 billion dollars on prescription drugs
- Nearly 71 million Americans accessed preventive services without a copay through their insurance plans
- 47 million women have guaranteed access to additional preventive services without cost sharing
- 3.1 million young adults under 26 who were uninsured were able to gain coverage by staying on their parents’ health insurance plans
- Children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage (and in 2014, no one can be denied for pre-existing conditions)
- In 2012 consumers saved $2 billion because Obamacare requires insurance companies to rebate portions of premiums collected if they do not spend at least 80% of premiums on actual health care.
- Rate reviews has helped protect consumers from unreasonable double digit rate increases. Since 2009, the percentage of double digit rate increases each year nationwide has decreased from 74% to 35%. Colorado consumers saved $11.3 million in the individual market in 2011.
That is only some of what we have to be thankful for. Throughout this year and next, more of Obamacare will be implemented. This will continue to increase access to health care for many Americans.
- October 1, 2013: Health Insurance Marketplaces will be open for business. Colorado’s marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado, is on target to begin enrolling people into plans on October 1.
- January 1, 2014:
- The new health plans available in the marketplace will begin.
- Expansion of Medicaid to people under 133% of poverty level will go into effect.
- Tax credits to help the middle class afford insurance will become available for those with income between 100% and 400% of the poverty line who are not eligible for other affordable coverage.
- New plans and existing group plans will be prohibited from imposing annual dollar limits on the amount of coverage an individual may receive.
- Insurance companies cannot kick you off your insurance plan if you get sick.
- Insurance companies cannot refuse to sell coverage or renew policies to anyone based on a pre-existing condition.
- Insurance companies can no longer charge higher rates due to gender in the individual and small group market.
It is very exciting to see Obamacare turn 3. We can’t wait to continue celebrating more birthdays with Obamacare and see more and more Americans have better access to quality and affordable health coverage.