ACA is help­ing mil­lions

Amer­i­cans ex­pe­ri­enc­ing bet­ter health, lower costs

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS EDITORIALS -

In the 20 months since Pres­i­dent Barack Obama signed the his­toric Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act into law, mil­lions of Amer­i­cans have al­ready been re­ceiv­ing help they need to im­prove their health, im­prove their care and save money. Con­sider a few key points:

More cov­er­age: About 1 mil­lion young adults ages 19 to 25 have gained health in­sur­ance thanks to the new rules that al­low young peo­ple to stay on their par­ent’s health plan.

More than 30,000 unin­sured Amer­i­cans who can­not get cov­er­age from pri­vate in­sur­ance com­pa­nies be­cause of a pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tion are in­sured through the Pre-ex­ist­ing Con­di­tion In­sur­ance Plan.

Lower costs: More than 2.2 mil­lion peo­ple with Medi­care have be­gun re­ceiv­ing a 50% dis­count on their cov­ered brand name pre­scrip­tion drugs in the dough­nut hole in 2011, al­ready sav­ing a to­tal of $1.2 bil­lion—an av­er­age sav­ings of $545 for ev­ery ben­e­fi­ciary. work­ers and their fam­i­lies through the Early Re­tiree Rein­sur­ance Pro­gram.

Pa­tient pro­tec­tions: The Pa­tient’s Bill of Rights is pro­tect­ing mil­lions of con­sumers through poli­cies such as pro­hibit­ing in­sur­ers from deny­ing cov­er­age to chil­dren with pre­ex­ist­ing con­di­tions and mak­ing life­time dol­lar lim­its on cov­er­age il­le­gal.

Forty-four states, five ter­ri­to­ries and the District of Columbia have been awarded $157 mil­lion to strengthen their pro­cesses for fight­ing un­rea­son­able rate hikes.

Bet­ter ac­cess to care: The num­ber of health­care pro­fes­sion­als join­ing the National Health Ser­vice Corps and serv­ing un­der­served ru­ral and ur­ban com­mu­ni­ties has nearly tripled to more than 10,000 strong.

More than 330 com­mu­nity health cen­ters, which see pa­tients re­gard­less of their in­sur­ance sta­tus or abil­ity to pay, have opened or ex­panded.

Bet­ter care: More than 20 mil­lion Amer­i­can se­niors and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties in Medi­care have ac­cessed at least one rec­om­mended pre­ven­tive ser­vice with­out pay­ing an ex­tra penny out of pocket.

New health in­sur­ance plans also have to cover rec­om­mended pre­ven­tive ser­vices with­out cost-shar­ing, ben­e­fit­ing as many as 41 mil­lion Amer­i­cans this year.

Al­ready more than 3,000 lead­ing hos­pi­tals have signed on to the Part­ner­ship for Pa­tients, com­mit­ting them­selves to the goal of re­duc­ing health­care-ac­quired con­di­tions by 40%, sav­ing as many as 60,000 lives and pro­tect­ing more than 1.6 mil­lion pa­tients from in­jury.

ACA

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