By Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
Today marks the two-year anniversary of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the law that gives hard working, middle-class families the security they deserve. It’s only been two years, but we’re already seeing that the law is making a difference in the lives of Americans.
It’s helping seniors. New data shows that more than 5.1 million seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare saved over $3.2 billion on prescription drugs because of the health care law. That’s about $635 per person in average savings and money back in the pockets of America’s seniors.
It’s helping women. Because of the Affordable Care Act, 45.1 million women – including 20.4 million women with private health insurance and 24.7 million women with Medicare – can receive recommended preventive services without having to pay a co-pay or deductible. Important preventive services, like mammograms and Pap smears are free. And in 2014, insurance companies can no longer charge women higher premiums just because they’re women.
It’s helping young adults. Because of the law, 2.5 million more young people have health insurance coverage.
It’s reducing premiums and lowering costs. Your insurance company can no longer raise your premiums by double digits without justification. And the law helps you get the most from their premium dollar: The health care law requires that premium dollars must be spent primarily on health care, not administrative costs like overhead or CEO salaries. So far, an estimated 74.8 million people have been protected by this new requirement.
And the law is protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions such as cancer or asthma. Already nearly 49,000 people have enrolled in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, and it is now illegal for children under 19 to be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. The law also eliminated lifetime dollar limits on coverage for over 105 million Americans—they no longer have to live with the fear that if an illness strikes, they could max out their health coverage.
There are many more benefits to come from the law, too. Until then, learn more about the benefits, protections and programs of the Affordable Care Act at www.healthcare.gov. You can also see the stories of how Americans from across the country are benefiting from the law at www.healthcare.gov/mycare.
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