Health Care Reform and You

Health Care Reform and You

The Affordable Care Act is the most substantial piece of health care reform since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. The ACA is aimed at making health care more affordable for Americans, and reducing the overall cost of healthcare. This controversial piece of health care reform makes sweeping changes to health care insurance, and if you’re like most people, you’re wondering how these changes will impact you.

Benefits of the Affordable Care Act Health Care Reform
Practically speaking, this act provides some great benefits to Americans who can’t afford coverage, or have trouble getting health care insurance. Some of the benefits of this health care reform bill include:

  • Insurers can’t deny you coverage, regardless of pre-existing conditions
  • Insurers must offer the same health care rates to all individuals of the same age and geographic location, without charging more based on gender or most pre-existing conditions
  • Low-income individuals will receive subsidies to help pay for health insurance
  • Co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance are eliminated for some preventative care services

Potential Consequences of These Changes to Health Care
While the changes enacted by the ACA are largely positive, there are a few health care changes that may have negative consequences for some individuals:

  • Individuals who aren’t covered by a health care plan are required to get health care insurance or pay a penalty, with a few exceptions
  • The ACA expands Medicaid coverage, and states can effectively opt out of this expansion, which means residents of some states may be caught in a gap in coverage

The States are the Gateway to Access This Health Care Reform
The Affordable Care Act empowers each state to set up a health care exchange where individuals can shop for health insurance, compare rates and enroll in a new health care insurance plan. Check with your state to find out whether you qualify for expanded Medicaid, or to shop for a health insurance plan under the new laws.

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