A new report reveals hundreds of thousands of Georgians already benefit from the Affordable Care Act. The third anniversary of the Affordable Care Act falls on March 23.
"Thousands of people in Georgia benefit from the passage of this health care reform bill," said Rep. John Lewis. "It took 100 years to pass meaningful health care reform, and instead of trying to revoke it, we need to keep trying to build an even more effective and more comprehensive system. Recent reports, like the recent feature in Time magazine, are defining the crisis we face in health care in this country. Good healthcare has become a privilege affordable only to the wealthy in this country. That is not right. Decent healthcare should be accessible to every citizen and not determined by the size of a wallet or the digits in a zip code. The ACA has allowed this nation to take important steps to close the gaps and bridge some of the problems we are facing, but it is still an emergency. Instead of working to repeal these changes, we need to do more to broaden the reach and the effectiveness of the movement toward reform of the healthcare industry."
Beginning October 1st of this year individuals and small businesses will be able to shop in a marketplace for healthcare coverage and services. Sign up for alerts on the HHS website to make sure you have all you need to decide on coverage when the marketplace comes online in October, and stay tuned for more information about the transition. HHS recently released a new report detailing some of the benefits Georgians are experiencing due to the law:
· No lifetime limit on coverage for 3,317,000residents of Georgia, including 1,256,000 women and 916,000 children. The health care law prohibits insurers from placing a lifetime limit on coverage. In the past, lifetime limits on coverage have forced some families into bankruptcy.
· Lower drug costs for seniors in Georgia. The health care law makes prescription drug coverage for people with Medicare more affordable. It does this by gradually closing the gap in drug coverage known as the "donut hole.' Because of this provision, in 2012 alone, 99,057 seniors in Georgia saved $161.9 million on their drugs -- an average of $732 per senior. Also, since the enactment of the health care law, seniors in Georgia have saved a total of $72.5 million.
· Free key preventive services used by seniors in Georgia The health care law provides free Medicare coverage of key preventive services, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and annual wellness visits. Because of this provision 742,634 seniors in Georgia received one or more free preventive services under Medicare in 2012, lowering their out-of-pocket health care costs. Before reform, some preventive services could have a co-pay as high as $160.
· Free key preventive services for 2.2 million individuals under age 65 in Georgia The health care law also provides, for those enrolled in most private plans, free coverage of key preventive services. As a result of this provision 2, 202,000 individuals in Georgia with private insurance plans received one or more free key preventive services, such as mammograms or flu shots, in 2011 and 2012.
· Coverage for 123,000 additional young adults in Georgia who would otherwise be uninsured. The health care law requires health insurers to permit parents to retain coverage for their children until their 26th birthday. Because of this provision, 123,000 young adults in Georgia have obtained health insurance through their parents' plan, who would be uninsured without this coverage.