What Is The Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act empowers Americans to make informed health-care choices while getting help with medical bills. Many families across the US struggle to pay their medical bills and as a result can be vulnerable members of the community who are unable to seek medical treatment they require.
The affordable care act’s key features include benefits for women, coverage for young adults, annual wellness visits and preventive services for seniors with Medicare, and a platform to make insurance companies transparent and accountable to any increases in premium that is above 10%.
The law affects three different dimensions of health services, namely coverage, costs, and care, helping families across the United States receive help with medical bills.
According to this law: (1) health coverage cannot be denied to children below 19 years or due to a pre-existing health condition; (2) If you are below 26 years of age, you will be covered by your parent’s health plan; (3) If you make a honest mistake while filling in the insurance form or leave out information that has little relevance to your health, the Affordable Care Act protects your coverage and your insurer cannot invalidate your coverage. In addition, you may challenge the denial of payment.
According to the Affordable Care Act, there are no lifetime limits on most of the benefits in any insurance policy issued or renewed on or after September 23, 2010. Also, the law restricts the annual dollar limits on most of the covered benefits offered by all job-related plans and individual health-insurance plans issued after March 23, 2010. There will be no dollar limit at all for most of the covered benefits for plans issued after January 1, 2014. The Affordable Care Act has now made it mandatory for the insurance company to publicly justify an increase in premium. Also, it has made it necessary for your premium dollars to be spent towards health care and not towards administrative costs.
The third component affected by the Affordable Care Act is in the care provided to children, women, and seniors in order to get help with medical bills. Preventive care such as tests for blood pressure and cholesterol, mammograms, colonoscopies, screening for osteoporosis will be covered by your insurance. Children can avail vaccinations, screening for vision, screening for autism, among several others at no cost. For a comprehensive list of all preventive care, please refer to the fact sheet named preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
You may now choose any participating physician of your choice as your primary care doctor. Also, you may choose a participating pediatrician of your choice as a primary care provider for your child. You may no longer require a referral from a primary care physician to seek coverage for obstetrical or gynecological care.
If you are away from home and there is a medical emergency and require help with medical bills, you need not panic. The Affordable Care Act ensures that you do not end up with higher copayments because you chose out-of-network emergency services. Also, you need not take prior approval before seeking emergency medical services out-of-network.
Tania Nunn works for a nonprofit in Pittsburgh called the Get Covered America. Having realized the importance of insurance coverage for a chronic illness firsthand, she felt a dire need to help the uninsured receive consistent healthcare. Get Covered America helps the uninsured learn their coverage options through the Affordable Care Act.
1) About the law: http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/rights/
2) The Affordable Care The Affordable Care Act helps to alleviate insurance worries: http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2014/07/26/The-Affordable-Care-Act-helps-to-alleviate-insurance-worries/stories/201407260107