You can spew out reams of this law if you choose, doesn't change a thing in what will happen this month when Obama care goes down.Again...whatever you say:
The Affordable Care Act - Implementation Timeline
In March 2010, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Affordable Care Act, which puts in place comprehensive health insurance reforms that will hold insurance companies accountable, lower costs, guarantee choice, and enhance quality health care for all Americans.
Whether you get insurance through work, buy it yourself, have a small business, are on Medicare, or don't currently have insurance, the Affordable Care Act gives you control to make your own decisions about your health coverage. It makes insurance more affordable by providing the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history, reducing premium costs for millions of families and small business owners who are priced out of coverage today. This helps 32 million Americans afford health care who do not get it today -- and makes coverage more affordable for many more. Under the plan, 94% of Americans will be insured.
To lower costs, the Affordable Care Act sets up a new competitive private health insurance market -- through state Exchanges -- giving millions of Americans and small businesses access to affordable coverage and the same choices of insurance that members of Congress will have. It holds insurance companies accountable by keeping premiums down and preventing insurance industry abuses and denial of care, and it will end discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions. And, it puts our budget and economy on a more stable path by reducing the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next ten years -- and more than $1 trillion over the second decade-- by cutting government overspending and reining in waste, fraud and abuse.
Starting this year and continuing through 2014, the Affordable Care Act will be implemented, increasing access to affordable health care for individuals, families, seniors and businesses. Many important benefits begin immediately, including bans on the worst insurance company abuses, cost savings for seniors, families and small and large businesses, and coverage options for many Americans who have been locked out of the insurance market because of a preexisting condition.
New Consumer Protections
- No Discrimination Against Children With Pre-Existing Conditions. The new law includes new rules to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23.
- Prohibits Insurance Companies from Dropping Coverage. In the past, insurance companies could search for an error on a customer's application or other technical mistake and use this error to stop covering the person when he or she got sick. The new law makes this illegal and after media reports cited incidents of breast cancer patients losing coverage, insurance companies agreed to end this practice immediately. Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23. Click here to learn more.
- Eliminating Lifetime Limits on Insurance Coverage. Under the new law, insurance companies will be prohibited from imposing lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays. Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23.
- Regulating Annual Limits on Insurance Coverage. Under the new law, insurance companies' use of annual dollar limits on the amount of insurance coverage a patient may receive is sharply restricted. In 2014, the use of annual dollar limits on essential benefits like hospital stays will be banned for new plans in the individual market and all group plans. Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23.
- Appealing Insurance Company Decisions. The law provides consumers with an easy way to appeal to their insurance company and to an outside board if the company denies coverage or a claim. Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23.
- Information for Consumers Online. The law creates an easy to use website where consumers can compare health insurance coverage options and pick the plan that works for them. Effective July 1, 2010. Click here to learn more.
Improving Quality and Lowering Costs
- Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credit. Up to 4 million small businesses are eligible for tax credits to help them provide insurance benefits to their workers. The first phase of this provision provides a credit worth up to 35 percent of the employer's contribution to the employees' health insurance. Small non-profit organizations may receive up to a 25 percent credit. Effective now. Click here to learn more.
- Relief for Four Million Seniors Who Hit the Medicare Prescription Drug "Donut Hole." An estimated four million seniors who hit the gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage known as the "donut hole" this year will receive a $250 rebate. First checks mailed in June, 2010, and will continue monthly throughout 2010 as seniors hit the coverage gap. Click here to learn more.
- Free Preventive Care. All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance. Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23.
- Preventing Disease and Illness. A new $15 billionPrevention and Public Health Fund will invest in proven prevention and public health programs that can help keep Americans healthy -- from smoking cessation to combating obesity. Funding begins in 2010.
- Cracking Down on Health Care Fraud. Current efforts to fight fraud have returned more than $2.5 billion to the Medicare Trust Fund in FY 2009 alone. The new law invests new resources and requires new screening procedures for health care providers to boost these efforts and reduce fraud and waste in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP. Many provisions effective now. Click here to learn more.
Increasing Access to Affordable Care
- Access to Insurance for Uninsured Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions. A transitional high risk pool program will provide new coverage options to individuals who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition for at least six months. States have the option of running their own temporary high risk pool. If a state chooses not to do so, a pool will be established by the Department of Health and Human Services. National pool effective July 1. Click here to learn more.
- Extending Coverage for Young Adults. Under the new law, young adults will be allowed to stay on their parents' plan until they turn 26 years old unless they are offered insurance at work. While the provision takes effect in September, most insurance companies have already implemented this new practice. Check with your insurance company or employer to see if you qualify. Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23. Click here to learn more.
- Coverage for Early Retirees. Too often, Americans who retire without employer-sponsored insurance and before they are eligible for Medicare see their life savings disappear because of exorbitant rates in the individual market. To preserve employer coverage for early retirees until more affordable coverage is available through the exchanges in 2014, the new law creates a $5 billion program to help people who retire before age 65 maintain the affordable care they need. Applications for employers to participate in the program available June 1. Click here to learn more.
- Rebuilding the Primary Care Workforce. To strengthen the primary care workforce, new incentives in the law to expand the number of primary care doctors, nurses and physician assistants include funding for scholarships and loan repayments for primary care doctors and nurses working in underserved areas. Doctors and nurses with student loans will also receive tax relief if they practice in communities with a shortage of health care providers. Effective 2010.
- Holding Insurance Companies Accountable for Unreasonable Rate Hikes. The law allows states that have or plan to implement measures that require insurance companies to justify their premium increases will be eligible for $250 million in new grants and insurance companies with excessive or unjustified premium exchanges may not be able to participate in the new health insurance Exchanges in 2014. Grants will be awarded beginning in 2010.
- Allowing States to Cover More People on Medicaid. States will receive increased federal matching funds for covering low-income individuals and families on Medicaid. This will make it easier for states that choose to do so to cover more of their residents. Effective April 1, 2010.
- Payments for Rural Health Care Providers. Today, 68 percent of medically underserved communities across the nation are in rural areas, and these communities often have trouble attracting and retaining medical professionals. The law provides rural health care providers the payments they need and ensures they can continue to serve their communities. Effective 2010.
The Affordable Care Act - Implementation Timeline | The White House
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