Health Reform Overview (Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act)

Mission Statement: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is aimed at increasing the rate of health insurance coverage for Americans and reducing the overall costs of health care.
Overview: President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law by on March 23, 2010. The Act provides a number of mechanisms, including mandates, subsidies, and tax credits, to employers and individuals to increase the coverage rate. Additional reforms aim to improve health care outcomes and streamline the delivery of health care. The Act requires insurance companies to cover all applicants and offer the same rates regardless of pre-existing conditions or sex.
Provisions of the Affordable Care Act pertinent to individuals with disabilities are:
  • The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan program makes health insurance available to Americans denied coverage by private insurance companies because of a pre-existing condition. Arkansas adopted this program in September 2010.
  • Job-based and new individual health insurance plans are now prohibited from denying or excluding coverage to any child under age 19 based on a pre-existing condition, including a disability.
  • Beginning in 2014, these plans won’t be able to exclude individuals from coverage or charge a higher premium for a pre-existing condition, including a disability.
  • The Medicaid Health Home option allows states to submit a state plan amendment to develop health homes, which are person-centered systems of care that facilitate access to and coordination of the full range of services and supports for people with chronic conditions who meet eligibility requirements.
  • A new Medicaid option called Community First Choice gives states the option to provide community-based attendant services and support as an alternative to nursing home and institutional services for people with Medicaid, including those with disabilities.
  • Beginning in 2014, state Medicaid programs will offer additional services to help those who need long-term care at home and in the community.
Age Groups Served: ALL ages

Diagnoses Served: ALL types of delays and disabilities

Geographic Areas Served: ALL counties in Arkansas. Online resources. Entire country.

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