In my last blog post, I mentioned the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Despite how you may feel personally or politically about this piece of legislation, it affects all of us whether or not we have health insurance. In 2010, the ACA was passed by Congress and then signed into law by President Obama. However, it wasn’t until two years later that the Supreme Court reached a final decision to uphold this law.
While this law, in its entirety, is extremely lengthy and complicated I will only highlight some of the basic features that I find interesting and potentially beneficial. First, the topic of coverage. No longer do the parents of children under the age of 19 have to be worried about their child being denied for pre-existing conditions nor do they have to be concerned about limits to their coverage. Children will also continue to be covered up to age 26. Second, costs. Lifetime limits on coverage are no longer allowed and insurance companies must now “publicly justify any unreasonable rate hikes.” Third, care. Beginning January 1, 2014 all fully insured small group and individual health plans must cover essential health benefits. These benefits, otherwise known as EHB’s include the following categories:
– Ambulatory patient services
– Emergency services
– Maternity and newborn care
– Mental health and substance abuse disorder services (including behavioral health treatment)
– Prescription drugs
– Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
– Laboratory services
– Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
– Pediatric services, including oral and vision care
In part two of my ACA blog, I will dive a little deeper into the ACA including a discussion on such topics as the Health Insurance Marketplace (especially Nevada HealthLink), Grandfathered Plans, The Patient Bill of Rights, Medical Loss Ratios, and Cost-Sharing. In the meantime, please feel free to visit the following links:
– U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
– Nevada Health Link
– Hometown Health
Thank You for Reading!