Six Reasons to be Thankful for the Affordable Care Act

Six Reasons to be Thankful for the Affordable Care Act

By |2019-04-19T10:32:04-04:00Monday, November 21, 2016|
1. Free preventive care
“One ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Being able to go for regular check-ups can prove invaluable when catching health issues early. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers are required to cover six basic preventive services for all adults:
– Alcohol misuse screening and counseling
– Blood pressure screening
– Depression screening
– Obesity screening and counseling
– Tobacco use screening and counseling
– Immunizations for adults (doses, recommended ages and recommended populations vary)
Learn more about preventive services and how they can help keep you healthy.

 

2. Essential benefits
Prior to the ACA, covered services amongst insurers varied. Today, there are 10 categories of essential benefits that you can count on no matter which health insurance provider you choose. Every health plan must cover the following services:
– Outpatient care
– Emergency services
– Hospitalization
– Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
– Mental health and substance use 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

 

3. No pre-existing condition clause
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers cannot deny coverage or charge higher premiums because of a pre-existing condition. Before the Affordable Care Act, this was not the case. According to Healthinsurance.org, there are 400 medical conditions that can be classified as preexisting. A Congressional investigation found that between 2007 and 2009, four insurers (Aetna, Humana, UnitedHealthcare and WellPoint/Anthem) had denied coverage to 651,000 people because of pre-existing conditions.*

 

Healthinsurance.org also found that without the Affordable Care Act, 25 percent of those under the age of 65 and up to 50 percent of those over the age of 65 could be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.

 

4. Tax Credits
Health insurance premiums can be expensive. To help consumers better afford coverage, tax credits are available to help reduce monthly premiums if your income falls between a certain threshold. These tax credits can help you save hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year!

 

5. Children can stay on their parents’ plan until age 26
While there are a lot of things to consider when deciding whether to get your own coverage or stay on your parents’ plan, it’s great to have options. Prior to the ACA, the cut off was 19 (slightly older for full-time students). Now those pursuing advanced degrees or struggling to land their first job (to name just a few instances), have some peace of mind knowing that they can continue their health care coverage.

 

6. Open enrollment and qualifying life events
If there’s any one thing that’s certain, it’s that things will change. Maybe you’ve found the plan you had last year isn’t working for you, you’ve lost your job, you’ve moved or had a baby. Between the annual open enrollment period and qualifying life events that allow you to enroll or re-enroll during the year, your coverage can change as your life does.

 

*https://www.healthinsurance.org/blog/2015/08/19/why-pre-existing-conditions-mattered-to-millions/