April 15, 2013

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Increased Access to Affordable Care: A Perspective

With U.S President Obama getting re-elected for the second term, healthcare in the nation has been witnessing changes leading to increased access to affordable care.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act became law on March 23, 2010, beginning a series of important, sweeping reforms to the healthcare system that will expand coverage, control health care costs and improve the healthcare delivery system. While the act’s provisions will continue to be implemented through 2016, its reforms are already benefiting millions of Americans in important ways.

One of the foremost important objectives of PPACA was to increase access to affordable healthcare. Let’s have a  look at what has happened with the help of some numbers and facts below:

  • 2.5 million young adults gained health insurance.

    This is an example of the coverage gains for millions of people the Affordable Care Act is projected to provide. The Affordable Care Act allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26.

  • More than 40,000 Americans with pre-existing medical conditions gained affordable coverage through the federally administered Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.

    Those with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer or chronic disease, can access insurance to meet their health needs through the plan.

  • The Department of Health and Human Services awarded more than $14 million in 2011 alone to school-based health centers across the country, increasing the number of children served by 50 percent.

    The Affordable Care Act provides a total of $200 million for school-based health centers, which provide primary care, dental health, mental health, substance-abuse counselling, and health and nutrition counselling.

  • Across the country, 350 new community health centers were built and nearly 19,000 new jobs were created in 2011 alone to provide critical healthcare to the 50 million Americans living in medically underserved areas. 

    The Affordable Care Act provides a total of $11 billion to support and expand community health centers nationwide.

  • Consumers are enjoying greater protection from unreasonable private-insurance premium hikes.

    The Affordable Care Act helped 42 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories strengthen their rate-review laws, bringing greater transparency and accountability to private insurance rate increases. For example, Connecticut rejected a 20% rate hike by insurers, and Oregon halved the rate increase by one of its largest insurers, saving money for more than 60,000 people, and the Department of Health and Human Services recently deemed increases in five states “unreasonable.”

Taking the above facts in to consideration, I am pretty sure that the ‘Increased access to affordable care’ objective is on the perfect path to success. What do you think?

Next time, we will take a closer look at ‘Making Care More Affordable’!Visit our Life Science and Healthcare section to learn more about Healthcare IT Solutions.