Two Years Later: The Benefits of the Affordable Care Act for Indiana
For too long, too many hardworking Americans paid the price for policies that handed free rein to insurance companies and put barriers between patients and their doctors. The Affordable Care Act gives hardworking families in Indiana the security they deserve. The new health care law forces insurance companies to play by the rules, prohibiting them from dropping your coverage if you get sick, billing you into bankruptcy because of an annual or lifetime limit, or, soon, discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition.
All Americans will have the security of knowing that they don’t have to worry about losing coverage if they’re laid off or change jobs. And insurance companies now have to cover your preventive care like mammograms and other cancer screenings. The new law also makes a significant investment in State and community-based efforts that promote public health, prevent disease and protect against public health emergencies.
Health reform is already making a difference for the people of Indiana by:
Health plans are now required to allow parents to keep their children under age 26 without job-based coverage on their family’s coverage, and, thanks to this provision, 2.5 million young people have gained coverage nationwide. As of June 2011, 38,480 young adults in Indiana gained insurance coverage as a result of the new health care law.
Thanks to the new health care law, 89,667 people with Medicare in Indiana received a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. In 2011, 89,096 people with Medicare received a 50 percent discount on their covered brand-name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole. This discount resulted in an average savings of $648 per person, and a total savings of $57,735,983 in Indiana. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole.
In 2011, 736,054 people with Medicare in Indiana received free preventive services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor. And 54 million Americans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing, including 1,160,000 in Indiana.
Under the new health care law, insurance companies must provide consumers greater value by spending generally at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care and quality improvements instead of overhead, executive salaries or marketing. If they don’t, they must provide consumers a rebate or reduce premiums. This means that 1,634,000 Indiana residents with private insurance coverage will receive greater value for their premium dollars.
In every State and for the first time under Federal law, insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more. Indiana has received $4.9 million under the new law to help fight unreasonable premium increases.
The law bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits – freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment because of their lifetime limits. Already, 2,259,000 residents, including 822,000 women and 615,000 children, are free from worrying about lifetime limits on coverage. The law also restricts the use of annual limits and bans them completely in 2014.
As of the end of 2011, 678 previously uninsured residents of Indiana who were locked out of the coverage system because of a pre-existing condition are now insured through a new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that was created under the new health reform law. To learn more about the plan available in Indiana, check here.
Supporting Indiana’s work on Affordable Insurance Exchanges
Indiana has received $7.8 million in grants for research, planning, information technology development, and implementation of Affordable Insurance Exchanges.
- $1 million in Planning Grants: This grant provides Indiana the resources needed to conduct the research and planning necessary to build a better health insurance marketplace and determine how its exchange will be operated and governed. Learn how the funds are being used in Indiana here.
- $6.8 million in Exchange Establishment Grants: These grants are helping States continue their work to implement key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Learn how the funds are being used in Indiana here.
Since 2010, Indiana has received $16.5 million in grants from the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act. This new fund was created to support effective policies in Indiana, its communities, and nationwide so that all Americans can lead longer, more productive lives.
The Affordable Care Act increases the funding available to community health centers in all 50 states, including the 98 existing community health centers in Indiana. Health centers in Indiana have received $32.1 million to create new health center sites in medically underserved areas, enable health centers to increase the number of patients served, expand preventive and primary health care services, and support major construction and renovation projects.
Strengthening partnerships with Indiana
The law gives states support for their work to build the health care workforce, crack down on fraud, and support public health. So far, Indiana has received more than $81 million from the Affordable Care Act. Examples of Affordable Care Act grants not outlined above to Indiana include:
- $1.6 million for school-based health centers, to help clinics expand and provide more health care services such as screenings to students.
- $900,000 to support outreach to eligible Medicare beneficiaries about their benefits.
- $191,000 for Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, organizations run by and for families with children with special health care needs.
- $13 million for Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs. These programs bring health professionals to meet with at-risk families in their homes and connect families to the kinds of help that can make a real difference in a child’s health, development, and ability to learn - such as health care, early education, parenting skills, child abuse prevention, and nutrition.
$4 million from the Pregnancy Assistance Fund to provide pregnant and parenting teens and women with a seamless network of supportive services to help them complete high school or postsecondary degrees and gain access to health care, child care, family housing, and other critical support.
Elmer Blankenship, President
Indiana Alliance for Retired Americans
431 S. Shortridge Rd
Indpls., IN 46219
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