Immediate benefits of health care reform

So many people are asking what the benefits are of recent health care reforms, and there’s a lot of frustration because so much help is needed right now, but the changes aren’t all that exciting – for this year. I share feelings many have that urgent help is needed NOW but it helps to remember that every journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step, and the current changes add up to way more than that. Along with the health care changes, the final bills provided changes to aid for college students too. Let’s take a look at some of the health care changes that do kick in this year:

Health care system changes that take effect between July and October 2010

View flier (pdf)

  • COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS—Increases funding for Community Health Centers to allow for nearly doubling the number of patients served over the next 5 years.
  • HEALTH INSURANCE CONSUMER ASSISTANCE—Provides aid to states to establish offices of health insurance consumer assistance to help consumers file complaints and appeals.
  • IMMEDIATE HELP FOR UNINSURED WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS—Provides immediate access to insurance for Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing conditions through a temporary high-risk pool until the Exchanges are up and running in 2014.
  • EXTENDING COVERAGE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE UP TO 26TH BIRTHDAY THROUGH PARENTS’ INSURANCE – Requires plans to allow young people to remain on their parents’ insurance policy up to their 26th birthday.
  • NEW, INDEPENDENT APPEALS PROCESS FOR NEW PLANS—Ensures consumers in new plans have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal decisions.
  • NO DISCRIMINATON AGAINST CHILDREN WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS—Prohibits all employer plans and new plans in the individual (private) market from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.
  • NO RESCISSIONS—Bans all health plans from dropping people from coverage when they get sick.

Small Business Tax Credits

View Affordable Health Care Small Business Guide (pdf) and Health Insurance At a Glance (for Small Businesses) (pdf)

  • Small businesses and eligible small non-profits become eligible for tax credits beginning this year.

    Credits of up to 35 percent of employer premium contributions will be offered to small businesses choosing to offer coverage.

Looking for expanded information?

Check out this resource page on the Department of Education. It seems to provide excellent coverage of this topic.

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