Affordable Care Act|
Health Care Policy|
Affordable Care Act
The affordable care act was passed by congress and then signed into law by the President on March 23, 2010. On June 28th 2012 the Supreme Court rendered a final decision on the law. The affordable care act also known as the health care law offers clear choices for consumers and provides new ways to hold insurance companies accountable.
As of September 23, 2012 or soon after, health insurance issuers and group health plans are required to provide you with an easy to understand summary about a health plan’s benefits and coverage. The new regulation is designed to help you better understand and evaluate your health insurance choices. The new forms include: A short plain language Summary of Benefits and Coverage, or SBC. A uniform of terms commonly used in health insurance coverage, such as deductible and copayment. All insurance companies and group health plans must use the same standard SBC form to help you compare health plans. The SBC form also includes details, called coverage examples which are comparison tools that allow you to see what the plan would generally cover in two common medical situations. You have the right to receive the SBC when shopping for or enrolling in coverage or if you request or if you request a copy from your issuer or group health plan. You may also request a copy of the glossary of terms from your health insurance company or group health plan. This provision applies to all health plans, whether you get coverage through your employer or purchase it yourself beginning September 23, 2012. All health plans must provide an SBC to shoppers and enrollees at important points in the enrollment process, such as upon application and at renewal. The coverage examples give a general sense of how a plan would cover the normal delivery of a baby, and services to help a person control type 2 diabetes. If you don’t speak English you may be entitled to receive the SBC and uniform glossary in your native language upon request.
The Affordable Care Act exempts most plans that existed on March 23, 2010- the day the new law was enacted- from some of the law’s consumer protections. This preserves consumers’ rights to keep the coverage they already had before health reform. This means that if you have health coverage from a plan that existed on March 23, 2010- and that has covered at least one person continuously from that day forward- your plan may be considered a grandfathered plan. This is true whether you are covered by an individual health insurance plan that you had on that date, or you are covered by a job-based health plan that your employer established before March 23, 2010. A grandfathered health plan isn’t required to comply with some of the consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act that apply to other health plans that are not grandfathered.
The Affordable Care Act puts consumers back in charge of their health care. Under the law, a new patient’s bill of rights gives the American people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed choices about their health. The patient’s bill of rights provides coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions, protects your choice of doctors, keeps young adults covered until the age of 26, ends lifetime limits on coverage, ends pre-existing condition exclusions for children, ends arbitrary withdrawals of insurance coverage, reviews premium increases, helps you get the most from your premium dollars, restricts annual dollar limits on coverage, and removes insurance company barriers to emergency services.
Under the Affordable Care Act, you and your family may be eligible for some important preventive services- which can help you avoid illness and improve your health- at no addition cost to you. If your plan is subject to the new requirements, you may not have to pay copayments, co insurance, or a deductible to...