The Affordable Care Act provides new insurance coverage options for individuals who have previously been ineligable or could not afford health insurance.
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, 123,000 young adults in Georgia gained insurance coverage as a result of the health care law. For more details on these numbers, visit here.
The health care law includes benefits to make Medicare prescription drug coverage more affordable. In 2010, 107,164 people with Medicare in Georgia who hit the prescription drug donut hole received a $250 rebate. In 2011, people with Medicare who hit the donut hole began receiving a 50 percent discount on covered brand-name drugs and a discount on generic drugs. Since the law was enacted, Georgia residents with Medicare have saved a total of $133,355,705 on their prescription drugs. In the first nine months of 2012, 65,080 people with Medicare received a 50 percent discount on their covered brand-name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole. This discount has resulted in an average savings of $675 per person, and a total savings of $43,945,615 in Georgia in 2012. By 2020, the law will close the donut hole.
In 2011, 733,375 people with Medicare in Georgia received free preventive services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor. And in the first nine months of 2012, 607,747 people with Medicare received free preventive services.
Because of the law, 54 million Americans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing in 2011, including 1,713,000 in Georgia. 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 1,481,402 in Georgia will now have guaranteed access to additional preventive services without cost-sharing.
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 243,813 Georgia residents with private insurance coverage will benefit from $19,764,771 in rebates from insurance companies this year. These rebates will average $134 for the 147,000 families in Georgia covered by a policy.
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, 3,317,000 residents, including 1,256,000 women and 916,000 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 August 2012, 2,927 previously uninsured residents of Georgia 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.
If you would like more information about the specific options appropriate for your situtation, the following tool with help you find the health insurance best suited to your needs.