The Affordable Care Act for Americans with Disabilities

The Exceptional Parent, August 2012 | Go to article overview

The Affordable Care Act for Americans with Disabilities


Features choices and enhanced protections for Americans with disabilities:

* Eliminates Insurance Company Discrimination: As of September 23, 2010, most health plans cannot limit or deny benefits or deny coverage outright for a child younger than age 19 simply because the child has a "preexisting condition." In 2014, the Act will prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more to any person based on their medical history.

* Ends Annual and Lifetime Limits: As of September 23, 2010 the Affordable Care Act prohibits health plans from putting a lifetime dollar limit on most benefits you receive. The Act also restricts and phases out the annual dollar limits a health plan can place on most of your benefits - and does away with these limits entirely in 2014.

* Access to Preventive Services: As of September 23, 2010, the law helps make wellness and prevention services affordable and accessible to you by requiring many health plans to cover certain preventive services without charging you a copayment, coinsurance, or deductible.

* Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan: On July 1, 2010 Secretary Sebelius announced the establishment of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan to provide coverage for eligible Americans who have been uninsured for six months because of a pre-existing condition. This program helps build a bridge to 2014, when Americans will have access to quality, affordable care in health insurance Exchanges.

* Allows Individuals to Stay on Parents' Plan until Age 26: Health plans that offer dependent coverage must make coverage available to children up to age 26. By allowing them to stay on a parent's plan, the Affordable Care Act makes it easier and more affordable for young adults, including those with disabilities or chronic conditions, to get or keep health insurance coverage.

* Expands the Medicaid Program: Expands the Medicaid program to more Americans, including people with disabilities. States have the option to expand their programs now, and the program will be expanded nationwide in 2014.

* State-based Health Insurance Exchanges: Establishes Health Insurance Exchanges to provide families with the same private insurance choices that Members of Congress will have, foster competition, and increase consumer choice.

* One-Stop Shopping and Accessibility: The new Exchanges will supply easy to understand, standard, accessible information on available health insurance plans, so people can compare and easily identify the quality, affordable option that is right for them.

* Out-of-Pocket Limits: Starting in 2014, plans in the Health Insurance Exchanges and all non-grand fathered plans will have a cap on what insurance companies can require beneficiaries to pay in out-of-pocket expenses, such as co-pays and deductibles.

* New Options for Long-Term Supports and Services Extends and Enhances the Successful Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program through 2016 with an additional $2.

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