The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often referred to as ACA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010 in an effort to improve the health of Americans and our ability to access health care services.
- Children under age 26 can now stay on their parents’ health insurance
- Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition
- Some screenings and vaccinations are now free
- Life time limits on health care coverage is eliminated
- The Medicare prescription “donut hole” coverage gap is closed
- Tax credits will be available to small businesses to help cover their employee health premiums
- Funds will be available for small business worksite wellness programs
- Colorado will go live with the Connect For Health Colorado, where you can shop for health insurance the same way you do for plane tickets and car insurance.
- Medicare taxes rise on incomes above $200,000/year
- Payment reform: States will pay Medicaid providers rates that are at least equal to Medicare payment rates for primary care
- Medicare taxes: a 0.9% Medicare tax will be imposed on every taxpayer who receives wages or self-employed income in excess of $200,000. A new 3.8% tax will apply to "unearned" income for certain high-income taxpayers.
- Medicaid will expand the number of preventive services (diagnostic, screening, preventive, and rehabilitation) it covers. States can choose to opt-in our out of these changes.
- Medicaid will expand coverage to those that are 133% Federal Poverty Line. This will affect over 20% of San Luis Valley residents. Our leaders in Colorado expanded Medicaid before the ACA.
- Insurance companies must cover everyone, not matter their health status or gender
- Every citizen and legal resident will have to have health coverage or face a penalty. People without coverage will be able to get insurance through new health exchanges.
- Families who purchase their insurance through the exchange and have annual incomes between $30,000 and $88,000 may be eligible for financial assistance on a sliding fee scale
- The Department of Health and Human services will establish an essential standard benefits package that all policies sold through the exchange must include
- Employers with over 50 employees will be required to offer health benefits to their employees or be subject to a find of $2,000 per employee
- A 40% excise tax will be levied on the insurer on policies with premiums over $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for family coverage