Fortunately or unfortunately, the American healthcare sector is frequently newsworthy. Employing a human care system for every citizen is far from an easy task to undertake. When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, to the shock of many onlookers, the United States established a universal healthcare system known as Obamacare.
Health Insurance Landscape
There are only a few major health insurance categories in this country and most humans are familiar with commercial health insurance, which typically comes from your employer or business. In addition, the US government provides healthcare for senior citizens over age 65 as well as patients with end-stage renal diseases or kidney failure who can qualify for and enjoy the benefits of Medicare. The state governments have responsibility for managing Medicaid, which is health insurance offered for low-income residents at no cost. The ACA expanded Medicaid’s benefits to many states, though there are still more expansions to occur. Finally, Tricare (formerly ChampVA) establishes health insurance packages for the care of active-duty U.S. military, veterans, and their families.
Consumer Protection Planning
Unfortunately, if you fall outside of any of the above insurance eligibility options, the expectations of affordability in premiums go down considerably. Consumer protection agencies found, in fact, that out-of-pocket health insurance costs were at risk of abusing existing and future patients. The limitations produced by pre-existing conditions eliminated even more folks from even qualifying for health care insurance outside of a traditional employer-purchased health plan. For instance, if an individual lost their health insurance and then were diagnosed with COPD, healthcare insurers could and would deny health plans to those persons. It was also previously extremely difficult to research and track health plans, so the Federal Marketplace established a one-stop shop for insurance plans. Furthermore, with ObamaCare, patients can no longer be denied health care coverage because of a previous diagnosis.
Young Adult Coverage
Another event that distinguished the ACA is its protection for young people. Instead of being thrown from family health plans provided by parents and guardians at the age of 18, President Obama’s administration acknowledged the continued difficulties for twenty-somethings to acquire adequate insurance in addition to continued education and debt repayment. As a result, the ObamaCare stipulated that all persons over the age of 18 and younger than the age of 26 were eligible to remain covered by their parent’s coverage. Each individual has one year from age 26 to find their own resources or register a plan in the marketplace during the special enrollment period if there are no other insured plan options.
Expanded Insurance Benefits
Though met with initial criticism, the new benefits required by President Obama’s Administration were no doubt disruptive. A far cry from typical plans, any new plans in the United after ObamaCare must include several essential health procedures at no cost, including:
- route cholesterol and blood pressure checks
- birth control
- routine vaccinations
- breastfeeding supplies
- screening for gestational diabetes
- pap smears and HPV tests
- screenings for HIV, Gonorrhea, and Hepatitis
- tobacco cessation
- Rh incompatibility screening for pregnant women
In conclusion, the Affordable Care Act, affectionately known as ObamaCare, released several provisions to turn around the monetary abuses of health insurers with poor practices. Presently, Americans have protections against the high price of health insurance, denials from pre-existing conditions, subsidized premium costs, increased accessibility to health networking through the marketplace, and discriminations based on gender.