While this question continues to be debated, many Americans believe that President Barack Obama has made an invaluable impact on healthcare. For years, virtually millions of hard-working U.S. citizens were unable to buy health insurance.
While the reasons vary, the common thread is the same. Many never thought change was possible and continued to seek out assistance with medical care any way possible.
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When did the new law go into effect?
Times do change and in 2010, the Affordable Care Act passed and became a law. The Affordable Care Act helps many Americans get the health insurance they need by providing unprecedented medical benefits and assistance for qualified applicants who meet certain requirements.
To be clear, not everyone is for these changes. However, the fact that change has occurred, and therefore Obama has made a difference is not in debate.
If this new law directly affects you, you are already experiencing positive changes. In 2014, the idea was that everyone will be able to provide their families with affordable healthcare.
What are some of the major benefits that the Affordable Care Act provides today?
One of the major benefits is preventive care. As of September 23, 2010, the following services can be provided without paying out-of-pocket expenses some of the major benefits are:
– Screening Procedures
These types of procedures can include abdominal screens for non-smokers, alcohol abuse, blood pressure, depression, cholesterol and more. Using preventive measures helps you reduce the amount of medical assistance you may need by carefully monitoring your body to ensure optimal health.
Available for obesity, smoking, and sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS
The types and doses will vary for different age groups but they can include:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Flu shots
- Measles and childhood illnesses
When will the remaining benefits become available?
The remaining benefits will become available between 2012 and 2014. Effective, August 1, 2012, another list of preventive services will become available in no cost-sharing plans, which means you will not bear the burden of added expenses. They include:
- Advanced screening – Organ screening like bladder and urinary tract for expectant mothers will be provided at no cost. Breast cancer and cervical cancer screening will also be included.
- Contraception – Almost all types of contraceptives will be covered, including sterilization and other FDA approved procedures.
- Child-related screening procedures – Autism and other behavior-based illnesses will receive the amount of coverage needed to properly treat children with these types of disabilities.
This type of screening also includes depression and blood pressure. You can also take advantage of developmental screening to gauge your child’s progress.
Having access to so many preventive care options will be valuable for many people who usually pay for these types of services. It not only helps save money, but it also helps people afford to follow a regular medical regiment.
What if I already have health insurance? Will the new law affect my current policy?
The answer to that question is, maybe. It really depends on your health insurance provider and the type of plan you have. For example, if you have an HMO that requires you to see an in network doctor, you may need to see an in network doctor to qualify for the free service.
In addition, your doctor may perform additional services while you are in the office for a regular check-up. If you do not confirm eligibility, you may receive a bill in the mail.
Some people have had the same health insurance for several years. Many times long-time health insurance customers have rates and benefits that are no longer available to new applicants, this is considered a grandfathered plan.
The beauty of having a plan that is grandfathered is you are very rarely affected by policy changes. Your status virtually guarantees things like premium rate and certain benefits. Because of this, you may not be eligible to participate in the new changes.
To take advantage of the new health laws, you may need to cancel your current policy and apply for a new one. There are pros and cons in every decision you make, don’t give up a great rate or benefits so that you can receive free office visits.
Weigh your options very carefully to decide which plan works best for you. If you are uncertain about any of your current benefits or eligibility status, check with your state insurance department and get the facts.
President Barack Obama has indeed changed the face of healthcare in the United States. As Americans, we are all born with certain rights, but until now, healthcare was not one of these rights.
When the 44th president of the United States created the Affordable Care Act, Americans gained the right to medical care at a fair price.
No longer do issues like pre-existing conditions dictate the type of medical coverage you receive. Some may not agree with the law, but it is definitely something that many appreciate.
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