March 21, 2010
- $250 Medicare drug cost rebate to help the 4 million seniors who have reached the so-called doughnut hole in prescription coverage
- Expanded coverage for young adults, who now can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26
- Small business tax credits to help small businesses afford coverage for employees.
- Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans in each state that cover people who insurance companies won’t.
Sept. 23, 2010
- Free preventive care and screenings, meaning people who are insured no longer have to dole out co-pays for these services.
- Prohibits insurance companies from “rescinding” coverage from people who get sick.
- Establishes a formal process where people can appeal insurance company decisions.
- Eliminates lifetime coverage caps.
- Prohibits denial of coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.
Jan. 1, 2011
- A 50 percent discount to seniors who have reached the coverage gap when buying Medicare Part D-covered brand-name prescription drugs.
- Free preventive care for seniors.
- Forcing insurance companies to spend at least 85 percent of the money they take in from employer policies on direct care and services, and at least 80 percent of money from individual policyholders.
- Coordinating care for seniors after they leave the hospital.
New ways to identify and reduce health disparities. Federal health programs will be required to collect and report racial, ethnic and language data.
Aug. 1, 2012
Women no longer have to pay out-of-pocket for annual well-care visits, mammograms, cervical cancer screenings or contraception. Insurance companies are required to cover these things in full.
Oct 1, 2012
- Institutes a series of changes to standardize billing and requires health plans to begin adopting and implementing rules for the secure, confidential, electronic exchange of health information.
- Establishes a hospital Value-Based Purchasing program (VBP) in Medicare. This program offers financial incentives to hospitals to improve the quality of care. Hospital performance is required to be publicly reported, beginning with measures relating to heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, health-care associated infections, and patients’ perception of care.
Jan 1, 2013
- Expands the number of Americans receiving preventive care, the law provides new funding to state Medicaid programs that choose to cover preventive services for patients at little or no cost.
- Requires states to pay primary care physicians at least 100 percent of Medicare payment rates in 2013 and 2014 for primary care services. The increase is fully funded by the federal government.
Oct. 1, 2013
States will receive two more years of funding to continue coverage for children not eligible for Medicaid.
Jan. 1, 2014
- Health Benefits Exchanges begin go operate. If an employer doesn’t offer insurance, people may buy it through an Exchange, which will offer a choice of plans that meet benefits and cost standards. Members of Congress will get their health care insurance through Exchanges.
- Under the new law, most people who can afford it will be required to get basic health insurance coverage or pay a tax penalty to help offset the costs of caring for uninsured Americans. There will be subsidies for low- to moderate-income families.
- Americans who earn less than 133 percent of the poverty level (about $14,000 for an individual and $29,000 for a family of four) will be eligible for Medicaid, unless they choose to opt out, which is unlikely to be a popular decision. States will receive 100 percent federal funding for the first three years, phasing to 90 percent federal funding in subsequent years.
- Bans dropping or limiting coverage because a person chooses to take part in a clinical trial. This applies to all clinical trials that treat cancer or other life-threatening diseases.
- Eliminates annual limits on coverage.
- Bans denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions.