The Affordable Care Act Resource 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.
Congressman Tierney was pleased to support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which was signed into law in 2010. This historic health insurance reform legislation is bringing about a significant improvement over the status-quo and is making unmistakable progress in the effort to make health care more accessible and affordable for all Americans.
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 businesses, you can receive tax credits to help you cover the cost of providing coverage to your employees.
- You or your child 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 are 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.
Congressman Tierney believes that health insurance premiums Americans pay should be used to make people healthy, not wasted on unnecessary paperwork or excessive CEO pay. That's why he insisted that the 80/20 rule be included in the Affordable Care Act. This rule, also called the Medical Loss Ratio requires insurance companies to spend generally at least 80 cents of every dollar that Americans pay in premiums on health care versus CEO pay and bonuses and other administrative costs . If this requirement is not met, insurance companies must pay consumers a rebate. In 2012 alone, more than 12 million Americans, including 163,949 in Massachusetts, received more than $1 billion in rebate checks because of this provision.
As Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in July 2013, “when Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, Democrats insisted on steps to improve the quality and affordability of health insurance nationwide. With the leadership of Congressman John Tierney, Democrats acted to ensure that Americans’ premium dollars are invested where they will do the most good – in the care of patients, not in the bottom lines of insurance companies. Today, a new report showed that competition will lower premiums by nearly 20 percent in the new health insurance marketplaces – more evidence that the law is a victory for the American people.”
Rep. George Miller, senior Democratic member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee said, "The health insurance premiums Americans pay should be used to make people healthy, not wasted on unnecessary paperwork or excessive CEO pay. At the insistence of Congressman Tierney and Democrats in Congress, this important principle is now the law of the land and millions of policyholders are receiving billions of dollars in rebates. Washington Republicans should drop their agenda to repeal these important patient protections and instead work with us to strengthen America's middle class."
To visit my Affordable Care Act Resource Center, click here.