From Day One: Immediate Benefits Of Health Reform

For Immediate Release:

March 23, 2010

Contact:

Katie Grant
Stephanie Lundberg
(202) 225 - 3130


 

Today, President Obama signed health insurance reform into law. Starting from day one and throughout the next year, our families, small businesses, seniors, and young Americans will begin to feel the real and positive impact of reform. The following table describes some of those benefits.

 
 

BENEFIT

HELP FOR…

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR AMERICANS

Effective Upon Enactment
(Immediately Eligible For These Benefits)

Small Business Tax Credits

Small Businesses

Provides tax credits to small businesses to make employee coverage more affordable. Tax credits of up to 35% of premiums will be immediately available to firms that choose to offer coverage. (Beginning in 2014, the small business tax credits will cover 50 percent of premiums.)

Closing Medicare Part D “Donut Hole”

Seniors

Provides a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the “donut hole” in 2010. (Beginning in 2011, institutes a 50% discount on brand‐name drugs in the donut hole; also completely closes the donut hole by 2020.)

Effective 90 Days After Enactment

Immediate Help For The Uninsured Until Exchange Is Available

Families

Provides immediate access to insurance for Americans who are uninsured because of a pre‐existing condition – through a temporary high‐risk pool.

Effective 6 Months After Enactment

No Discrimination Against Children With Pre‐Existing Conditions

Young Americans

Prohibits health plans from denying coverage to children with pre‐existing conditions. (Beginning in 2014, this prohibition would apply to all persons.)

Extends Coverage For Young People Up To 26th Birthday Through Parents’ Insurance

Young Americans

Requires health plans to allow young people up to their 26th birthday to remain on their parents’ insurance policy, at the parents’ choice.

Ends Rescissions

Families

Bans health plans from dropping people from coverage when they get sick.

Bans Lifetime Limits On Coverage

Families

Prohibits health plans from placing lifetime caps on coverage.

Bans Restrictive Annual Limits On Coverage

Families

Tightly restricts new plans’ use of annual limits to ensure access to needed care. These tight restrictions will be defined by HHS. (Beginning in 2014, the use of any annual limits would be prohibited for all plans.)

Effective Beginning January 1, 2011

Free Preventive Care Under Medicare

Seniors

Eliminates co‐payments for preventive services and exempts preventive services from deductibles under the Medicare program.

Ensuring Value For Premium Payments

Families

Requires plans in the individual and small group market to spend 80 percent of premium dollars on medical services, and plans in the large group market to spend 85%. Insurers that do not meet these thresholds must provide rebates to policyholders.