How Has Health Care Changed Already?
Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in March of this year there have already been several changes that have taken place. Last week I talked about changes that went into effect on September 23. Here is the list of changes that had already been made since the law was passed.

January 1, 2010: Providing Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credits. 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% of the employer’s contribution to the employees’ health insurance. Small non-profit organizations may receive up to a 25% credit.

April 1, 2010: Allowing States to Cover More People on Medicaid. States will be able to receive federal matching funds for covering some additional low-income individuals and families under Medicaid for whom federal funds were not previously available. This will make it easier for states that choose to do so to cover more of their residents.

June, 2010: Relief for Four Million Seniors Who Hit the Medicare Prescription Drug "Donut Hole". An estimated 4 million seniors will reach the gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage known as the “donut hole” this year. Each senior will receive a $250 rebate.

Effective Now: 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. 

June 1, 2010: Expanding 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 high rates in the individual market. To preserve employer coverage for early retirees until more affordable coverage is available through the new Exchanges by 2014, the new law creates a $5 billion program to provide needed financial help for employment-based plans to continue to provide valuable coverage to people who retire between the ages of 55 and 65, as well as their spouses and dependents. For more information on the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, visit www.ERRP.gov

July 1, 2010: Providing Access to Insurance for Uninsured Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions. A Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan will provide new coverage options to individuals who have been uninsured for at least six months because of a pre-existing condition. States have the option of running this new program in their state. If a state chooses not to do so, a plan will be established by the Department of Health and Human Services in that state. This program serves as a bridge to 2014, when all discrimination against pre-existing conditions will be prohibited. Learn more about the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.

July 1, 2010: Putting Information Online. The law provides for an easy-to-use website where consumers can compare health insurance coverage options and pick the coverage that works for them.



Keep following my blog to make sure you're kept informed of the changes!

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