The health care law referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes protections for patients and their families. People forget that they have affordable health care options that they can easily understand. The best resource for learning more about the ACA and how it might help you can be found at healthcare.gov.
How the ACA Affects Health Care Costs
Health care costs have been rising for decades, and some people continue to pay more and more for their health insurance. But the ACA helps lower health care costs for many people because it:
- Provides preventive medical services, such as screening mammograms and colonoscopies, at no cost to patients.
- Prohibits annual and lifetime dollar limits on the number of patient care services the plan will pay for.
- It encourages more competition among health plans and empowers consumers to choose the best option for them.
- Helps low- and middle-income people buy health coverage on the health insurance marketplace.
How the ACA Affects Health Care Coverage
The ACA offers coverage for those who need it. This law requires that all plans sold in the health insurance markets cover certain essential benefits to prevent a serious health problem such as cancer. Here are some health insurance situations that people often wonder about:
- If you work for a company and you have health insurance through your job, you may not require additional coverage. However, people who work for smaller companies that don’t offer health insurance have the option to shop around for other affordable coverage options. Or, someone with a plan through her job that has very high premiums may be eligible for financial help to purchase a plan that is marketed in her state’s health insurance marketplace.
- If you are uninsured, you may qualify for financial help to purchase a health insurance plan that is marketed on your state’s health insurance marketplace. If your income is below a certain level, you may be eligible for coverage through Medicaid. Medicaid eligibility varies from state to state. Some states have chosen to expand access to Medicaid coverage under the health care law, while others have not.
- If you have Medicare, you get a general physical checkup and important screening tests like mammograms and colonoscopies every year at no cost to you. The law has also closed the gap in prescription drug coverage to make it more affordable for older adults.
How the ACA Affects the Choices Patients Have
The ACA takes several measures that allow patients to choose the type of care they require. Requires private health insurance plans to provide consumers with easy-to-understand information about coverage. It also encourages competition among health insurance companies and helps consumers make informed choices about the best health insurance plan for each person.