With the passage of the historic Health Care Reform Bill yesterday many people are questioning what exactly is included in the bill. Here is a breakdown:
- Pre-existing conditions will not be a reason that insurers could deny someone of insurance starting in 2014
- Medi-Cal will be expanded to include more lower-income individuals under the age of 65. Households with income up to 133 percent of the poverty level, or about $29,327 for a family of four, would be eligible.
- The Medicare prescription drug program will be changed to close the “doughnut hole”. This is a gap in coverage that affects millions of individuals. While it won’t be eliminated until 2020, there will be improvements in 2011, including a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs.
- Dependent children up to the age of 26 would be eligible for coverage under their parent’s plans.
- Eliminates lifetime dollar limits on policies.
- Prevents insurers from canceling coverage because someone gets sick.
- Immediately prevents insurers from denying coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions.
- While there is no government-run insurance plan included in this bill, there is the creation of the new state-based purchasing pools called exchanges. These will begin in 2014 and will allow for individuals to have the same purchasing power as an employee of a large company.
- Provides new investment in training programs to increase the number of primary care doctors, nurses, and public health professionals.
- Increases the funding for Community Health Centers to allow for nearly a doubling of the number of patients seen by the centers over the next 5 years.
There is a great breakdown by congressional district on what the bill includes. Here is an example using the 6th Congressional District:
- Improves coverage for 419,000 residents with health insurance
- Gives tax credits and other assistance to up to 121,000 families and 20,400 small businesses to help them afford coverage.
- Improve Medicare for 101,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole.
- Extend coverage to 42,000 uninsured residents
- Guarantee that 10,000 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
- Provide millions of dollars in new funding for 28 community health centers.
The link to find this information is http://bit.ly/9bfzuh.