Affordable Care Act Update From the Whitehouse.gov
First, health insurance premium rebates, which average nearly $100 per family, are on their way to 8.5 million Americans. That is because the Affordable Care Act now holds health insurance companies accountable to consumers and ensures that American families receive value for their premium dollars. If an insurance company spends less than 80 percent (85 percent in the large group market) of your premium on medical care and efforts to improve the quality of care and instead spends it on overhead and corporate salaries, they must rebate the portion of premium that exceeded this limit. Thanks to the law, millions of Americans will get savings from their insurers.
The law is protecting consumers from rate hikes that don’t go to care. It, along with other provision of the Affordable Care Act, has already helped consumers save a total of $3.9 billion in 2012, and $5 billion counting the 2011 rebates.
Second, Americans know health care prices for decades were skyrocketing, but the health law is changing that. This week, we learned that the official measure of health care prices, the medical price index, fell in May. The average for the last year was the lowest it has been in over four decades — a sign that health care is getting more affordable.
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And third, a new report demonstrates this good news will continue. A new PriceWaterhouseCooper report projects that medical cost growth will be lower in 2014 than in 2013. As they say: “defying historical patterns.” The report points to how the ACA, though its policies to promote value, reduce unnecessary care, and cut waste from the system, is driving down the cost of health care for all of us.
Meanwhile, we received a number of questions in response to our last email. Here are a couple answers:
If the pre-existing limitations are no longer allowed can an insurance company still decline to cover an applicant?
No. No new applicants may be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition starting in 2014, and permanently thereafter. Insurance companies will also be prohibited from charging more or carving out health benefits due to a pre-existing. Charging women more will become a thing of the past. And you won’t pay more based on the type of work you do or your family’s health history.
How does the ACA help people on Medicare?
People with Medicare now have free checkups and preventive services – you don’t have to be sick to see your doctor to stay healthy. They have a new discount on their prescription medicine in the so-called “donut hole” that’s already saved over six million seniors more than $700 each. The increases in their monthly Medicare premiums, like those for private insurance, have slowed down – with the Medicare Trustees projecting that they may actually drop in 2014. And, the part of the law that prevents insurance companies from spending premium dollars on overhead not care will begin in the Medicare Advantage next year, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
You could get $138.00 from Uncle Sam by Joel Feick