How the Health Care Law is Making a Difference for the People of IndianaFor 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:
Expanding health insurance coverage in every state
The Affordable Care Act will expand health insurance coverage by establishing a Health Insurance Marketplace in every state and increasing access to the Medicaid program. 909,633 or 16% of Indiana’s non-elderly residents are uninsured, of whom 860,652 (95%) may qualify for either tax credits to purchase coverage in the Marketplace or for Medicaid if Indiana participates in the Medicaid expansion.
Establishing the Health Insurance Marketplace. When key parts of the health care law take effect in 2014, there’ll be a new way for individuals, families and small businesses to get health insurance. Beginning Oct. 1, 2013, individuals in every state will be able to shop for health insurance and compare plans through the Marketplace.
Increasing Access to Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act also fills in gaps in coverage for the poorest Americans by giving states the option to expand Medicaid to individuals under 65 years of age with income below 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) (approximately $14,000 for an individual and $29,000 for a family of four) beginning in January 2014. States will receive 100% federal funding for the first three years to support this expanded coverage, phasing to 90% federal funding in subsequent years. In addition, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility and enrollment will be much simpler and will be coordinated with the Marketplace.
Providing new coverage options for young adults
Health plans are now required to allow parents to keep their children under age 26 without job-based coverage on their family coverage, and, thanks to this provision, 3.1 million young people have gained coverage nationwide. As of December 2011, 62,000 young adults in Indiana gained insurance coverage as a result of the health care law.
Making prescription drugs affordable for seniors
The Affordable Care Act makes prescription drug coverage (Part D) for people with Medicare more affordable. It does this by gradually closing the gap in drug coverage known as the "donut hole." Since the enactment of the law, 6.1 million Americans with Medicare who reached the donut hole have saved over $5.7 billion on prescription drugs. Nationwide, drug savings of $2.5 billion in 2012 were higher than the $2.3 billion in savings for 2011. In Indiana, people with Medicare saved over $144.1 million on prescription drugs since the law’s enactment. In 2012 alone, 85,784 individuals in Indiana saved over $60.2 million, or an average of $702 per beneficiary. In 2012, people with Medicare in the “donut hole” received a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and 14 percent discount on generic drugs. And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, coverage for both brand name and generic drugs will continue to increase over time until the coverage gap is closed.
Covering preventive services with no deductible or co-pay
The health care law requires many insurance plans to provide coverage without cost sharing to enrollees for a variety of preventive health services, such as colonoscopy screening for colon cancer, Pap smears and mammograms for women, well-child visits, and flu shots for all children and adults. The law also makes proven preventive services free for most people on Medicare.
In 2011 and 2012, 71 million Americans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing, including 1,508,000 in Indiana. And for policies renewing on or after August 1, 2012, women can now get coverage without cost-sharing of even more preventive services they need. Approximately 47 million women, including 983,850 in Indiana will now have guaranteed access to additional preventive services without cost-sharing.
The Affordable Care Act is also removing barriers for people with Medicare. With no deductibles or co-pays, cost is no longer a barrier for seniors and people with disabilities who want to stay healthy by detecting and treating health problems early. In 2012 alone, an estimated 34.1 million people with Medicare benefited from Medicare’s coverage of preventive services with no cost-sharing. In Indiana, 626,050 individuals with traditional Medicare used one or more free preventive service in 2012.
Providing better value for your premium dollar through the 80/20 Rule
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 283,432 Indiana residents with private insurance coverage will benefit from $14,249,673 in rebates from insurance companies this year, for an average rebate of $99 per family covered by a policy.
Scrutinizing unreasonable premium increases
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 $4,890,752 under the new law to help fight unreasonable premium increases.
Removing lifetime limits on health benefits
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 people in Indiana, 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.
Creating new coverage options for individuals with pre-existing conditions
As of August 2012, 1,924 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 $7,895,126 in grants for research, planning, information technology development, and implementation of Affordable Insurance Exchanges.
- $1,000,000 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.
- $6,895,126 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 $16,500,000 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.
Increasing support for community health centers and primary care cliniciansThe Affordable Care Act increases the funding available to community health centers nationwide. In Indiana, 20 health centers operate 105 sites, providing preventive and primary health care services to 273,536 people. Health Center grantees in Indiana have received $51,602,560 under the Affordable Care Act to support ongoing health center operations and to establish new health center sites, expand services, and/or support major capital improvement projects.
As a result of historic investments through the Affordable Care Act and the Recovery Act, the numbers of clinicians in the National Health Service Corps are at all-time highs with nearly 10,000 Corps clinicians providing care to more than 10.4 million people who live in rural, urban, and frontier communities. The National Health Service Corps repays educational loans and provides scholarships to primary care physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, behavioral health providers, and other primary care providers who practice in areas of the country that have too few health care professionals to serve the people who live there. As of September 30, 2012, there were 121 Corps clinicians providing primary care services in Indiana compared to 54 in 2008.
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. These partnerships help ensure that health care providers are working where they are needed most - in both urban and rural areas. They ensure that half a million people annually get access to HIV/AIDS treatment and access to high quality primary care services.
Examples of Affordable Care Act grants to Indiana not outlined above include:
- $2,444,294 for school-based health centers to help clinics expand their capacity to provide more health care services and modernize their facilities.
- $287,100 for Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, organizations run by and for families with children with special health care needs.
- $24,356,269 for Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs. These programs bring health professionals, social workers, or paraprofessionals 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.