The Affordable Care Act Turns 3

2013-03-25 16:44:00
<> MARCH 2013 In This Issue Health Care Reform Fast Facts Useful Links


MARCH 2013

In This Issue
Health Care Reform
Fast Facts
Useful Links

"No matter who you are, a man or a woman, a senior facing cancer, a child with juvenile diabetes, you will have health care that's available, reliable and undeniable."

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

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Celebrating the Third Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act 

Three years ago, we passed health care reform. It was the first time in history that we committed to ending the abuses of the insurance industry and covering every single American.  That's a very big deal. 

It is also a very big deal for women. Because of my amendment, the Mikulski Women’s Preventive Health Care Amendment, for the first time women are guaranteed access to preventive tests like mammograms, Pap tests and an annual preventive health exam that includes screenings for conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure with no additional cost.

Also thanks to health reform, once and for all, we ended gender discrimination in health insurance. No longer will insurance companies be able to charge women 30 to 40 percent more than men for the same coverage. No longer will they be allowed to deny coverage to women because they’ve been victims of domestic violence, because they are pregnant or because they’ve had a c-section.

So today, because of health care reform, no longer is simply being a woman a pre-existing condition.

We helped seniors in health care reform. We saved and strengthened Medicare, extending its solvency, closed the prescription drug donut hole and guaranteed that seniors could get free annual preventive health care exams.

We helped families by ending the punitive practices of insurance companies. No longer can they deny families coverage or charge higher in premiums because a child has a pre-existing condition.

And, today young people can remain on their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26. Nationwide, 3.1 million young people, including 46,000 from Maryland, have received coverage thanks to this provision, allowing more young people to attend graduate school or work for a startup business, without the threat of losing their health coverage.

Under health care reform, we also instituted the new 80/20 rule requiring insurance companies to spend 80 percent of premium dollars on health care or quality improvements, rather than towards executives’ salaries, or expensive marketing. If insurance companies fail to follow this guideline, they must reimburse employers or consumers through rebate checks. These rebates totaled $27,882,606 in Maryland this year, an average rebate of $304 per family.

And there's more to come. By 2014, all Americans, no matter someone’s income, will have access to affordable and quality healthcare options and no one will be denied coverage or charged higher premiums because of a pre-existing condition.

You know, some people call health care reform ObamaCare. I love it. Because President Obama does care. He cared enough to expand universal access to 32 million Americans and break the stranglehold of insurance companies, saving lives and saving money along the way.

That’s a lot to celebrate on the third anniversary of ObamaCare. 


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Fast Facts

The Affordable Care Act Means:

Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
Insurance companies will no longer be able to charge women more for individual health coverage.
If you have children under age 26, you can insure them if your policy allows for dependent coverage.
Insurance companies will no longer be able to impose a lifetime dollar limit on essential health benefits.
Preventive care is provided without copays.
Insurance companies must justify unreasonable rate hikes.

In Maryland

The Affordable Care Act will expand health insurance coverage by establishing a Health Insurance Marketplace in every state and increasing access to the Medicaid program. 480,527 of Maryland’s non-elderly residents are uninsured, of whom 420,218 may qualify for either tax credits to purchase coverage in the Marketplace or for Medicaid if Maryland participates in the Medicaid expansion.

46,000 young adults in Maryland gained insurance coverage as a result of the health care law.

48,949 individuals in Maryland saved over $37.5 million on Medicare prescription drugs, or an average of $768 per beneficiary.

In 2011 and 2012, 1,518,000 Marylanders with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing or copays.

Already, 2,251,000 Marylanders are free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage.
Useful Links

"Senator Mikulski's Floor Statement Following Supreme Court’s Decision to Uphold the Affordable Care Act
Senator Mikulski’s Statement at the Supreme Court Following Decision to Uphold the Affordable Care Act
Senator Mikulski’s Floor Statement Announcing New Preventive Health Coverage for Women
Mikulski Applauds Announcement that 141,000 Marylanders to Get Rebate Averaging $340 Through Health Care Reform Law
The"Health Care Law and You - Information from the Department of Health and Human Services
AARP Health Care Reform Information
National Women’s Law Center Fact Sheets on Health Care Reform

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