Health Care for America Now

Overview

Iowa Citizen Action Network, ICAN, logo for Health Care for America NowHealth Care for America Now is a national grassroots campaign organizing millions of Americans to win a guarantee of quality, affordable health care for all. ICAN is the Iowa state affiliate of the campaign.

The rising costs of health care services and insurance coverage are taking its toll on family budgets, businesses, and public programs. The cost of health care and health insurance is a major component of the economic fears concerning the public, along with the price of gas, housing, and other aspects of family budgets. The financial burden resulting from these growing costs are leading many to defer care, as families choose between food and health care, and contributing to increases in the uninsured. As Congress moves forward to address the growing uninsured population and the impact of rising health care costs on America’s families, promoting improved access to affordable health care and adequate health coverage for all Americans will be an important but challenging objective.

Additionally, given the current economic climate, it is vitally important that Congress not sacrifice quality. The only way to achieve savings and reduce the level and rate of increases in the future is with comprehensive reform that provides coverage to everyone. Health reform legislation must include at least the same benefits as members of Congress get, including a wide choice of doctors.

Iowa Citizen Action Network, ICAN, supporters for Health Care for America NowHCAN supports health care coverage with out-of-pocket costs including premiums, co-pays and deductibles that are based on a family’s ability to pay for health care, without limits on payments for covered services and a standard for health benefits that covers what people need to keep healthy and to be treated when they are ill. Health care benefits should cover all necessary care, including preventative services and treatment needed by those with serious and chronic conditions.

HCAN is asking every Member of Congress to support the H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which includes:

Affordability

  • Out-of-pocket cap protections to limit what individuals and families pay
  • Subsidies to assist lower- and middle-income individuals and families with paying for health care costs
  • Cost-sharing protections designed to foster prevention, primary care and effective treatment of chronic conditions and no cost-sharing for preventive care services

Benefits

  • A federally-established comprehensive benefit package that sets a defined coverage floor for public and private health insurance plan options in all markets
  • A broad scope of coverage that will ensure sufficient and affordable care without annual or lifetime limits
  • Incentives to encourage healthy lifestyles and habits, including programs such as smoking cessation and weight management


Updates


September 22, 2010

September 23rd, 6 Major Provisions of the Affordable Care Act Kick in

As of September 23rd, major provisions of the Affordable Care Act kick in including, consumer protections that end the worst of insurance company abuses. The new law puts an end to odious practices like dropping people because they got sick, putting annual and lifetime limits on how much coverage you can get from the insurance policy you rightly thought covered everything, and denying children coverage because they’re sick.

Once the law is fully implemented, insurance companies will not be able to deny any of us coverage because we have an illness, or drop us when we do, or force us into bankruptcy because of caps on how much of our health care they’ll pay for.

  1. Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Young adults can stay on a parent’s plan until they turn 26. If you want to put an adult child on your plan, you’ll be given an opportunity to do so during a special enrollment period. (This doesn’t apply to young adults who already have health insurance through a job.)
  2. Prohibits Excluding Coverage for Children With Pre-existing Conditions: Insurance plans can no longer refuse to cover children younger than 19 because they were born with or develop a serious medical condition. (A similar ban on coverage exclusions for adults goes into effect in 2014.)
  3. Provides Free Preventive Care: All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance.
  4. Bans Insurance Companies from Dropping our Coverage When We Get Sick: In the past, insurance companies could search for an error, or other technical mistake, on a consumer’s application and use this error to deny payment for services when he or she got sick. The new law makes this illegal.
  5. Empowers Consumers to Appeal Insurance Company Denials: The law provides consumers with a way to appeal coverage determinations or claims to their insurance company, and establishes an external review process.
  6. Eliminates Lifetime Limits on Insurance Coverage: Under the new law, insurance companies will be prohibited from imposing lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays which, begins putting and end to medical bankruptcies in America.
  7. Tax credits for small businesses providing coverage to workers: Already in effect, qualified small businesses get tax credit for up to 35% of their premiums for covering their workers.
  8. Medicare Prescription Drugs Rebates for Seniors: Medicare Part D enrollees who hit the Medicare prescription drug benefit gap in 2010 will automatically receive a $250 rebate check

Sources:

http://www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/index.html
http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Features/Insuring-Your-Health/key-health-law-provisions.aspx


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