Tomorrow marks the 3-year anniversary of the ACA and – wow – what a journey it has been!
Despite its youth, the ACA has already succeeded in helping millions of Americans get access to affordable care. For example, children with pre-existing health problems can no longer be turned down for coverage. Small businesses have access to tax credits to help pay for health insurance for their employees: 4 in 5 New York small businesses are eligible. Preventive care is now available without co-pays, seniors who hit the Medicare “donut hole” are paying less for prescription drugs, and health insurers now have strict guidelines on how much of your monthly premium must be used on medical care rather than their own administrative costs.
A few numbers give a picture of just how much the ACA has helped people in our state:
- New Yorkers with Medicare have saved over $407.6 million on prescription drugs since the law’s enactment. In 2012 alone, 226,569 individuals in New York saved over $170.4 million, or an average of $752 per beneficiary.
- 4.4 million New Yorkers gained access to free preventive health services in 2011 and 2012. 1.5 million seniors with Medicare received free preventive health care in 2012 alone.
- This year, 1 million New Yorkers with private insurance coverage will get $86,526,642 in rebates from insurance companies who have overcharged them, with an average rebate of $138 per family.
And the best is yet to come: In 2014, annual limits on insurance coverage will be banned, adults with pre-existing conditions will no longer be denied coverage, and tax credits will be available to help individuals and families pay for health insurance. And, individuals and small businesses will be able to get health insurance, including public programs like Medicaid, through the New York Health Benefit Exchange. This will save New Yorkers who buy insurance on their own an average of over 60% and people who get it through their small business over 20%. Enrollment will begin October of this year!
Because of the ACA, affordable, quality health care will soon be woven into the fabric of American society, making us stronger and healthier as a nation. And that’s something we can ALL look forward to!
So, Happy Third Birthday, ACA! May you live a long, happy (and healthy) life!