Do you know what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is or how it impacts your health care? The Health Care and You Coalition, which includes the American Medical Association (AMA), has launched an online resource at www.HealthCareandYou.org, designed to provide straightforward information to patients regarding how the new health care law will impact them.
This website features pages for each state so that residents can get personalized information that will help them make informed health care decisions for themselves and their families. This information will be updated for each state as the law is gradually put into effect over the next few years.
Some changes have already taken place, while others will be put into effect from now until 2014. These include:
- In 2011, those in the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole” will automatically receive a 50 percent discount on certain name-brand drugs and a seven percent discount on generic drugs.
- Young adults up to age 26 can now stay on their parent’s health plan.
- Coverage is becoming more available for persons with pre-existing conditions. PA Fair Care is available for some adults. Also, children up to age 19 can’t be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Some small businesses can get tax credits to help pay for the cost of covering their employees.
- Insurance companies can’t put dollar limits on the care that is covered in your lifetime.
This website also provides valuable information on how the law affects those under age 65, age 65 and over, and small business owners. While the website does not give advice on how to choose a specific health plan, it includes information on the coverage options available to patients in each state.
The coalition comprises seven organizations in addition to the AMA: AARP, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American College of Physicians, American Nurses Association, Catholic Health Association, and the National Community Pharmacists Association.