New report shows real benefits of the Affordable Care Act for the people of California
The Administration issued a new report highlighting the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for the people of California.Â Thanks to the health care law, the 82% of Californians who have insurance have more choices and stronger coverage than ever before. And for the 18% of Californians who donâ€™t have insurance, or California families and small businesses who buy their coverage but arenâ€™t happy with it, new choices are just around th.
â€œSoon, the Health Insurance Marketplace will provide families and small businesses who currently donâ€™t have insurance, or are looking for a better deal, a new way to find health coverage that fits their needs and their budgets,â€ said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Open enrollment in the Marketplace starts Oct 1, with coverage starting as soon as Jan 1, 2014. Â But California families and small business can visit HealthCare.gov right now to find the information they need prepare for open enrollment.
Beginning Oct 1, the Health Insurance Marketplace will make it easy for Californians to compare qualified health plans, get answers to questions, find out if they are eligible for lower costs for private insurance or health programs like Medicaid and the Childrenâ€™s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and enroll in health coverage.
Under the health care law, if your plan covers children, you can now add or keep your children on your health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old. Thanks to this provision, over 3 million young people who would otherwise have been uninsured have gained coverage nationwide, including 435,000 young adults in California.
As many as 16,133,192Â non-elderly Californians have some type of pre-existing health condition, including 2,236,001 children.Â Today, insurers can no longer deny coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition, like asthma or diabetes, under the health care law. And beginning in 2014, health insurers will no longer be able to charge more or deny coverage to anyone because of a pre-existing condition.Â Â
In every State and for the first time under Federal law, insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more. California has received $5,324,242 under the new law to help fight unreasonable premium increases.
The law bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits â€“ freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment because of their lifetime limits.
A Stronger Medicare Program
In California, people with Medicare saved nearly $574 million on prescription drugs because of the Affordable Care Act.Â In 2012 alone, 299,896 individuals in California saved over $183 million, or an average of $609 per beneficiary.Â In 2012, people with Medicare in the â€œdonut holeâ€ received a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and 14 percent discount on generic drugs. Nationally, over 6.6 million people with Medicare have saved over $7 billion on drugs since the lawâ€™s enactment. Thatâ€™s an average savings of $1,061 per beneficiary. In addition, the average premium for a basic prescription drug plan in 2014 is projected to remain stable for the fourth year in a row, at an estimated $31 per month.
With no deductibles or co-pays, cost is no longer a barrier for seniors and people with disabilities who want to stay healthy by detecting and treating health problems early. In 2012 alone, an estimated 34.1 million people benefited from Medicareâ€™s coverage of preventive services with no cost-sharing.Â In California, 2,153,101 individuals with traditional Medicare used one or more free preventive service in 2012.
The health care law extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by ten years. Â From 2010 to 2012, Medicare spending per beneficiary grew atÂ 1.7 percentÂ annually, substantially more slowly than the per capita rate of growth in the economy.Â And the health care lawÂ helps stop fraud with tougher screening procedures, stronger penalties, and new technology. Over the last four years, the administrationâ€™s fraud enforcement efforts have recoveredÂ $14.9 billionÂ from fraudsters.Â For every dollar spent on health care-related fraud and abuse activities in the last three years the administration has returned $7.90.
To see the report for California visit: http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/bystate/statebystate.html