why the affordable care act is good

10. Creates new protections to ensure your insurance plan covers you when you need it. Massachusetts already has strong insurance protections. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) enhances these protections by eliminating limits on the amount of benefits you can receive. 9. Expands coverage for young adults. Under the ACA, young adults are able to stay on their parents coverage until age 26. 8. Strengthens the primary care system and supports community health centers. The ACA has already provided more than $130 million to community health centers in Massachusetts to strengthen their programs while expanding access to primary care for community members. 7. Reduces childhood obesity and tobacco use. The Department of Public Health is using ACA grants to improve emergency medical services for children, reduce childhood obesity and encourage tobacco cessation. 6. Rewards quality of care, rather than quantity. The ACA supports the goals of the Commonwealth s 2012 cost containment law by promoting the formation of Accountable Care Organizations that reward quality and efficiency of care rather than the quantity of care. 5. Makes prescription drug coverage more affordable for seniors. The ACA closes the donut hole in Medicare prescription drug coverage. Nearly 60,000 Massachusetts seniors saved an average of $667 each on prescription drugs in 2012, and will save more as the donut hole is closed completely. 4. Covers preventive health services with no co-pay. Thanks to the ACA, most health plans must now cover preventive services like shots, smoking cessation and cancer screenings at no cost to the consumer. This will help increase access to critical preventative care in the short term, and save lives in the long run. 3. Provides tax credits to small businesses and increased coverage for employees. The ACA establishes tax credits for certain small employers to make it more affordable to cover their employees, which can be combined with additional wellness rebates through the Health Connector. Very low-income employees who cannot afford their employer s coverage will become newly eligible for MassHealth, without any penalty for employers. 2. Provides billions in additional federal dollars for Massachusetts. The ACA streamlines state health insurance programs while providing additional federal reimbursement for people already covered.

The ACA also provides grants to help states protect taxpayers from excessive premiums. 1. Ensures affordable coverage for more middle income families. The ACA extends health subsidies to those with incomes from 300% up to 400% of the federal poverty level (approximately $46,000 for an individual), making health insurance affordable for more low-and-middle-income families. This information is provided by the.
For the last 50 years, Americans have struggled to navigate a health care system that has failed to put patients first. Millions who were uninsured struggled to pay for even a doctors visit, while those who had insurance risked losing it when they needed it most. Quality care, especially preventive screenings and checkups that keep people healthy, was a luxury for many. And doctors were encouraged to focus on the amount of care they delivered, rather than effectively treating patients big-picture health. Today, as a nation,. The promise of positive transformative change in the U. S. health care system is at hand, thanks to: The Affordable Care Act working to improve access, affordability and quality in health care Private and public sector alignment around better care, smarter spending, and healthier people The evidence is clear when it comes to access, affordability, and quality the Affordable Care Act is working. Strong Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace. On March 31, 2015 about Americans had paid their premiums and had active coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Historic Reduction in the Uninsured. We have seen the largest reduction in the uninsured in four decades. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act five years ago, about uninsured people have gained health coverage. Those gains come primarily from the Marketplace, young adults who can stay on their parents plans until they turn 26, and Medicaid expansions. Progress in Fighting Health Inequity. Since 2013, the uninsured rate has declined 9. 2 percentage points for African Americans, resulting in adults gaining coverage and 12. 3 percentage points for Latinos, resulting in adults gaining coverage. Since 2013, the uninsured rate among women declined 7. 7 percentage points, resulting in women gaining coverage.

An estimated women are also benefiting from preventive services coverage with no out-of-pocket costs. P And health insurers can no longer discriminate based on gender, so being a woman is no longer a preexisting condition. Medicaid Expansion. Over additional individuals are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of April 2015, compared to before October 2013. P To date, 28 states plus DC have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. PThis is one of the areas where we know more can be done. We want to work with all the states that have yet to expand to get as many people covered as possible. Reducing Uncompensated Care in Hospitals. As a result of Marketplace coverage and Medicaid expansion, hospital uncompensated care costs were reduced by an estimated in 2014, compared to what they would have been in the absence of the coverage expansion. Medicaid expansion states account for $5 billion, or 68 percent, of that reduction. If all States fully expanded Medicaid, uncompensated care costs would be about lower in 2016 than they would be if no additional states expanded Medicaid. From Coverage to Care. Now that millions of Americans have health coverage, we are working to consumers about their coverage and to reduce barriers so that they can get the care they need to live longer and healthier lives. Health Care Coverage is now Affordable for Millions of Americans. Of the about 10. 2 million consumers who had paid their premium and had active Marketplace coverage on March 31, 2015, nearly (85 percent) nationwide and in the 34 states with Federally-facilitated Marketplaces received an average premium tax credit of. And in 2015, nearly 80 percent of Marketplace shoppers using HealthCare. gov could purchase coverage for. PA recent found that in 2014, fewer Americans had problems paying medical bills or medical debt, and fewer went without care because they couldnt afford it. This is the first decline and lowest level in these areas since 2005. Choice, Competition and Premiums. Insurers have decided that the Marketplace is a good place to do business and as a result, consumers have more choices. joined the Marketplace for the 2015 Open Enrollment, and consumers could choose from an average of.

P Studies show more issuers are associated with. Health Care Cost Growth Has Slowed Sharply. PSince the Affordable Care Act became law, the price of health care has risen at the slowest rate in 50 years. PMedicare has paid out nearlyP Pless through 2013 than it would have had previous trends continued. The average premium for employer-based family coverage rose justP in nominal terms in 2014. Just more than a decade ago, surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation frequently registered double-digit premium increases for this type of coverage. Improved Patient Safety. Since 2011, patient harms like hospital-acquired conditions,Ppressure ulcers, central line associated infections, falls and traumasPhave fallen by, saving an estimated 50,000 lives and $12 billion dollars. Fewer Avoidable Hospital Readmissions. The Medicare all-cause 30-day readmission rate fell to approximately 17. 5 percent in 2013, translating to an estimated among Medicare beneficiaries between January 2012 and December 2013. Alternative Care Models are Driving Value. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are groups of providers and insurers who work together to put patients in the center of their care and create better health outcomes. Today, more than gets their health care from one of more than 700 ACOs established by Medicare and other payers. PACOs have generated a combined in savings for Medicare. In addition, the Pioneer ACO model has been as the first patient care model to meet the stringent criteria for expansion to a larger population of Medicare beneficiaries. Higher Quality Coverage. After years of dropped coverage, flimsy plans and barriers to care, everyones coverage has improved because consumers have new protections, including those who get health insurance through their employers. They cant be turned away because of pre-existing conditions; they cant be dropped just because they get sick and insurance has to cover care that Americans count on like trips to the emergency room, prescriptions and preventive services. We are transforming the way Americans get health care and they have sent a clear message that the Affordable Care Acts benefits are needed, wanted, and liked.

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