Are you confused by all health care reform chatter?
Over the next month, EmpowHER.com will discuss the facts about health care reform and explain what it means to you, your family and your bank account. Here are some of the facts:
On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The federal statute is the direct result of the Obama administration’s health care reform agenda. Immediate changes to health care include:
• Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children (under 19) with pre-existing conditions
• Young adults can stay on their parent’s insurance policies until their 27th birthday
• Medicare recipients who fall into a specific coverage gap will get a $250 rebate
• A 10 percent tax on indoor tanning
• Individuals that have not had health insurance for six months will receive a subsidy to enroll in high-risk insurance pools run by the states. (These pools won’t be cheap but they are still a lot better than being excluded. And there is expected to be some advantage due to the wider pool of the uninsured)
• All new insurance plans sold must exempt preventative care and screenings from deductibles. Free preventative care for all!
• Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees receive up to a 35 percent tax credit for providing health insurance to their employees
• No more rescissions. Effective immediately, you can’t lose your insurance because you get sick
• No more lifetime or annual caps on coverage
• All insurers are required to post balance sheets on the Internet and fully disclose administrative costs, executive compensation packages and benefit payments
• Authorizes early funding of community health centers in all 50 states (Bernie Sanders’ amendment). Community health centers provide primary, dental and vision services to people in the community, based on a sliding scale for payment according to ability to pay
In 2011, the new health care bill will set up a long-term care insurance program. Individuals who pay premiums into this system for at least five years will become eligible to receive support with daily living assistance.