Affordable Care Act | Health Reform

Enacted on March 23, 2010 and upheld as of June 28, 2012 under the Supreme Court (and again after the 2012 election), the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the landmark health care bill signed into law by the Obama administration. The lengthy bill contains several thousand pages of ways to overhaul the health care system in the United States, which has been gradually implemented since the law’s first day of approval. A heavy argument between political parties, ObamaCare has its positives and negatives. Whether you agree with the law or not varies based on where you priorities lie.

The benefits have been evident for many Americans, as the number of uninsured individuals has actually dropped since its beginnings. The concept behind the law is making health care more affordable, more available, and mandatory for all Americans. Touching on every aspect of health care, including providers, insurers, and publicly funded coverage, the ACA has been an overhaul, indeed.

Some of the key aspects of the bill included the individual mandate, requiring all individuals to have some form of insurance or pay a penalty fee. Another is Medicaid expansion, which the Supreme Court decided could be optional if a state does not wish to provide more care to its low-income population. They also decided making the eligibility process more difficult and eliminating current members is acceptable. Certain states who are participating have already begun to expand their Medicaid programs and are making progress.

Dependent coverage extending to age 26 was another highlight of the bill, giving young adults the opportunity to stay on their parents’ plan longer. Statistics have shown a decrease in the number of uninsured young adults since the law made this a requirement. Many changes to the Medicare program were part of the bill, as well as a total consolidation and restructuring of the hospital system and other health care providers. Provisions to rapidly improve quality standards and offer better care through a minimal number of services devastated many hospitals as they scrambled to comply in the early stages.

Health reform has also required that preventive care services are available for free under most insurance plans, and has expanded the number of services covered. Early in the ACA’s implementation, this provision was embraced by many Americans, notably women who could receive more gender-specific services at no cost. In addition to more services, more individuals are eligible for health insurance. The stringent underwriting guidelines of health insurance companies and state law has been eliminated to great extent, as insurers must sell plans to individuals with pre-existing conditions. Rather than join a high-risk pool for all eternity, the Affordable Care Act set up a temporary one for uninsured people with a history of conditions or who have been rejected by insurers until 2014 when the laws changes. Adjusting premium rates, issuing exclusions and denying coverage are all banned under the ACA.

In this section, we will offer some insight and information into health reform, acknowledging its helpful qualities as well as the tougher ones. Such a reform could not take place without ridding our current system of certain elements, in order to acquire new ones. With major endeavors such as the ACA, there will always be a side who reaps the benefits and the other left in a struggle. In this case, many providers and insurers have felt they are met with a challenge, while consumers are able to gain benefits and access to care. Not all consumers were enthused about their new rights and requirements, especially business owners who would rather not provide coverage to fifty-plus employees. In the process, everyone has felt some growing pains, though hopefully health reform will yield as many positive results as a federal law can.

As the web is already flooded with health reform articles, we have chosen certain parts to cover and will try our best to answer any questions you may have regarding the law and its changes. Contact us if you would like further information on the law, or would like to apply for health insurance privately or on your state’s exchange. We are always happy to help get people informed and covered. Call a licensed agent at 888 803 5917.