From the President and CEO: Celebrating the Fourth Anniversary of the ACA
Message from the President and CEO
March 26, 2014
On March 23rd, many health professionals and consumer advocates marked the fourth anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act. A number of people have published their thoughts about reaching this milestone. Several of these essays were written in terms of the number 4 –Four Reasons to Celebrate the ACA Turning Four; Four Gifts the ACA has Given Americans, etc.
While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been controversial from the start, we can come up with more than four reasons to celebrate passage of the health law. Here are just a few from our perspective at the REACH Foundation:
- The end to exclusions for pre-existing conditions, previously a barrier that kept many from qualifying for affordable health care coverage plans.
- Free preventive care, including well-child and well-women exams, flu shots for children and adults, and more.
- The 10 Essential Health Benefits, which went into effect this year, a requirement that all new individual and small group health plans for people who don’t have traditional employer-based coverage must cover a core set of essential health benefits starting in 2014. These include maternity and prenatal care, immunizations for children and adults, mental health treatment and other basic health services.
- Financial assistance to help people purchase insurance coverage through the health insurance marketplace.
- The provision that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans to age 26.
- Consumer protection against unjustified insurance plan rate hikes.
- Protection from insurance companies charging consumers higher rates based on health condition and/or gender.
- Creation of health insurance exchanges to help consumers assess insurance options and purchase coverage plans.
Read the full commentary.