I have had many individuals reach out to me today with concerns and questions about the recent Affordable Care Act challenge. Clearly, the Affordable Care Act has made a significant impact, both good and bad, on all Americans. Everyone has a strong opinion on this topic!
To clarify and list a few items that it currently effects:
Allows children to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until they turn 26.
Prevents insurers from turning away or charging more to those with pre-existing conditions
Improves benefits for medicare enrollees- free preventative benefits, such as screenings for breast and colorectal cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Lower premiums, deductibles and cost-sharing for the roughly 60 million senior citizens and disabled Americans enrolled in the program
Saves senior citizens money on their Medicare coverage and prescription drugs.
Higher costs for more affluent medicare beneficiaries. Froze the Medicare premium surcharge at $85,000 for individuals and $170,000 for couples, so more people have become subject to it. It also added a premium surcharge on drug coverage for higher-income enrollees.
Requires that companies with at least 50 employees provide affordable insurance to their employees who work more than 30 hours a week.
Ended the practice of insurers imposing annual or lifetime caps on benefits, and it also placed limits on annual out-of-pocket spending.
Mandated more comprehensive coverage
Requires insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions and banned them from charging the sick more.
Set up health insurance exchanges to allow Americans to shop for individual policies
Created federal subsidies so low- and moderate-income enrollees could buy policies for less than 10% of their income. It also limits the deductibles and co-payments for lower-income policyholders.
Allows many Americans to obtain free birth control, mammograms and cholesterol tests.
Requires many restaurants to post the calorie counts of their menu items.
Higher premiums for many which has been met with criticism.
Like any new program, there are issues to work through and to tweak. So, for those with concerns, do not worry, as nothing is clear or has been decided and the debate is clearly not over. No one will be losing their health insurance. As Obama recently stated, "As the decision makes its way through the courts, which will take months, if not years, the law remains in place and will likely stay that way."