Making Sense of Health Care Reform
Last week, the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Now that the legal challenges to health care reform are settled, many Americans are wondering how the law affects them.
Of course, some of the Act’s benefits have already been implemented. Americans are already benefitting from the law’s provisions that prevent the worst insurance company abuses, expand preventive care, reduce prescription drug costs for seniors, and allow young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance. Here is a summary of how the health care law is already helping people in Michigan.
Many more features of the health care law are scheduled to phase in early 2014. If you are one of the 250 million Americans who already have health care, you will keep your health insurance. The new law will only make it more secure and more affordable. Insurance companies will no longer impose lifetime limits on the amount of care you receive. They will no longer discriminate against people with preexisting conditions, and they can no longer drop your coverage if you get sick, or increase your premiums without reason.
Another key change for people with insurance is that they will no longer have to pay to subsidize health care for people who can afford health insurance but fail to purchase it. These individuals typically show up at the emergency room to receive medical care, and the cost of that care is passed along to everyone else in the form of higher premiums. American families with insurance currently pay roughly $1000 in extra premiums to pay for the cost of caring for people without insurance. Under the new health care law, people who can afford health insurance will be required to purchase it.
To get a better idea of how the Affordable Care Act will affect your own personal situation, I invite you to try out this interactive health tool created by the Washington Post.