Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Affordable Care Act – Do you know what it is doing for you already?

Not much has been said about the Affordable Care Act since its passage which baffles and saddens me. In my opinion, every member of Congress and the President should mention all of these benefits in every speech. There is much to be proud of in this piece of legislation. The Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but it’s a place to start in protecting Americans who do not have access to health insurance and those who are underinsured. So much has been implemented already and there is much more to come in 2014!

As of Sept 2010, these benefits have been implemented.

- Pre-Existing Insurance Plans (PCIP) offering coverage for previously uninsurable
- Lifetime caps eliminated
- A policyholder cannot be dropped from coverage because he/she becomes ill
- Annual out-of-pocket limits
- No co-pays for preventative services (vaccinations, mammogram, annual exams, etc…)
- No denials based on pre-existing conditions for children
- Adult children can maintain coverage on the parent’s plan until age 26
- 35% tax credit for small business to encourage employers to provide health insurance
- $250 rebate for Medicare recipients in the ‘donut hole’

What will the Affordable Care Act do for you in 2014?

- Eliminate discrimination due to pre-existing conditions
- Competitive health Insurance exchanges making health insurance available to all Americans
- Premium subsidies making health insurance affordable to individuals and families
- Expanded tax credits for small business to encourage employers to provide health insurance
- Medicare ‘donut hole’ eliminated

It’s now up to states to implement the center piece of the Affordable Care Act – health insurances exchanges - and the National MS Society is watching the creation of these exchanges closely to make sure they work for people with MS. The exchanges may be challenged by some legislators and candidates running for election in November. It is up to us to keep the pressure on our state and federal representatives so they know that this bill HELPS PEOPLE WITH MS. And we VOTE!

Have any of you directly benefited from the Affordable Care Act already? I know I have!

Please join us at the Day of Activism on January 30th in Olympia. Register at

Remember – It’s Time for Action! Washington

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