Although it has met with several stumbling blocks during the past year, such as a challenge from the Supreme Court and strong opposition in Congress, the future of the president’s health care reform law seems to be secure at last. Known officially as the Affordable Care Act and disparagingly as Obamacare, this landmark legislation will bring major benefits to Americans everywhere as it is implemented.
Here are some of its most beneficial provisions:
- This legislation eliminates the “donut hole” coverage gap for retirees. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has verified that once this provision of Obamacare took effect, more than five million people with disabilities and seniors saved approximately $4 billion when paying for their prescription drugs. In the future, their savings will increase because the Medicare program will gradually cover more of the cost for both generic and brand name medications. In addition, the average retiree enrolled in Medicare should save a substantial amount by 2022.
- Insurance companies will be required to ensure children with pre-existing conditions. In the past, the insurance industry has compelled anyone with a chronic or genetic illness to pay hefty premiums or go without coverage altogether. Currently, those under the age of 19 qualify for this protection and this provision will also be extended further in 2014.
- With the applicable provisions of Obamacare, approximately six million young adults who would otherwise be uninsured can be covered by their parents’ health insurance until they reach the age of 26.
- As another benefit of the Affordable Care Act, many preventative health services for women are now available through their employer-based health insurance coverage. The goal of this law is to get rid of the gender-based inequality in health expenses by removing co-pays for HPV screening, birth control that is both affordable and reliable, domestic violence resources, and support for breastfeeding mothers.
- The “80/20 rule,” which is part of the Obamacare law, stipulates that an insurance company may only allow 20 percent of the fees they charge for overhead expenses and profit, and the other 80 percent has to be used for the provision of quality health care. At this point, people in the United States have saved about $2.1 billion in premium expenses and approximately 13 million subscribers have received more $1 billion in rebate checks since this provision was enacted.