Since 2010, the Affordable Care Act has provided millions of Americans with greater consumer protections, with expanded coverage, and with more value for their health care dollars.
- Young adults under the age of 26 can now stay on their parents’ health insurance plans.
- Group and individual health insurance plans, as well as Medicare, now must cover annual checkups, mammograms, cancer screenings and other preventive healthcare services for free, (with no co-pays or deductibles).
- Insurance companies cannot deny insurance coverage to children and adolescents (under age 19) who are already sick or who have a serious medical condition.
- Insurance companies cannot put lifetime limits on the dollar amount of medical coverage.
Beginning in 2014, additional coverage options and consumer protections will be in place:
- Insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage because of a pre-existing condition, nor can they charge more because of a person’s gender or occupation.
- All new health plans will be required to offer unlimited yearly and lifetime medical coverage.
- Certain states will expand their Medicaid plans to cover individuals with incomes below 138% of the federal poverty line (FPL).
- New online marketplaces (called “insurance exchanges”) in each state will offer people without health insurance and employees of small businesses a place to find out about insurance plans and shop for affordable coverage. Federal subsidies to purchase insurance will be available for individuals and families with incomes under 400% of FPL.
According to NASW CEO, Betsy Clark, “The Affordable Care Act includes important provisions that hold insurance companies accountable for providing reliable, affordable coverage. Consumers now can be confident that their health insurance plan will protect them if they get sick. And they will have the security of knowing that their families won’t be crushed by medical bills.”
NASW’s consumer fact sheet on the Affordable Care Act is available at: