Congressman John Tierney

Representing the 6th District of MASSACHUSETTS
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The Affordable Care Act Resource Center

Lynn Community Health Center

Congressman Tierney and Senator Elizabeth Warren visit the Lynn Community Health Center, one of the many local clinics in the 6th district that are able to serve more patients thanks to the ACA.

On October 1st, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) opened the Affordable Care Act’s health care exchanges, and they are already helping more Americans get health coverage than ever before. If you are looking to enroll in a health care plan, visit www.healthcare.gov, the one-stop-shop for the most up to date information about how the Affordable Care Act can help you. HHS also has a 24 hour consumer call center accessible by dialing 1-800-318-2596 that can walk users through their options. TTY phones can dial 1-855-899-4325.  

Three years ago, Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act - a law that ensures all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care and significantly reduces long-term health care costs. The Affordable Care Act is also designed to put you, not the health insurance companies, back in charge of your health care. 

Because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

  •   If you are a young adult, you can now stay on your parents' health plan until your 26th birthday, if you do not have coverage of your own.
  •  Your insurance company must now spend at least 80 percent of premiums on covering medical services - rather than administrative expenses, CEO pay, and profits, a provision I authored and fought for.
  •  If you are among 4 million eligible small businessesyou can receive tax credits to help you cover the cost of providing coverage to your employees.
  •  If you have a child under the age of 19, he or she can no longer be denied coverage by an insurance company for having a “pre-existing condition.”
  • Your insurance company can no longer place a lifetime limit on your coverage.  Such limits have caused some families to declare bankruptcy.
  • If you are a senior, you will now be receiving a 50% discount on brand-name drugs if you enter the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole' coverage gap - a discount that grows until the ‘donut hole' is closed in 2020.  
  • You can no longer be dropped from coverage by your insurance company simply because you get sick.
  •  Annual limits on your coverage will be completely eliminated by 2014.
  • If you are in a new plan, you now have free coverage of key preventive services, such as immunizations, mammograms, and other cancer screenings.
  • Your insurance company must now publish on the Internet detailed justifications for any premium increases they are seeking that are more than 10 percent.

Myths about the Affordable Care Act 

MYTH #1. The Affordable Care Act is increasing the deficit:

FACT: According to the latest available estimates from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the health care law reduces the deficit by $109 billion over the next 10 years and over $1 trillion over the following decade.

MYTH #2. Beginning in 2014, under the ACA, all businesses will be required to provide health insurance to their employees.  In particular, the ACA will make health coverage much more burdensome and expensive for America’s small business owners.

FACT:  Under the ACA, no business is required to provide health insurance.  Instead businesses with 50 or more employees have an “employer shared responsibility requirement.”  All businesses with fewer than 50 employees – 96 percent of America’s businesses – have NO employer shared responsibility requirement.  Furthermore, the ACA has numerous provisions that will give small businesses new options for providing quality, affordable health coverage to their employees if they wish. 

MYTH #3. Americans will be paying much more for their health care because of the Affordable Care Act.  Health insurance will cost more because some insurers are looking to raise premiums significantly; meaning Americans are worse off in the new Marketplaces that will open in 2014.

FACT:  More than 95 percent of insured Americans get their health insurance through their employer or through public plans like Medicare, and there is no serious analysis suggesting that average premiums in these plans will rise because of reform.  Secondly, despite the headlines, a significant majority of those in the new Marketplaces will NOT be paying more for their insurance – due to premium tax credits. In early July, 2013, the Obama Administration announced that the Shared Responsibility Requirement will be implemented in 2015. 

Read more myths about the Affordable Care Act and the facts to dispel them here.

Learn more about how the Affordable Care Act can help you:

For information about your small business and the Affordable Care Act, click here and see these helpful documents below.