Affordable, Quality Health Care for All Americans
Essential health insurance reforms. Under the new law, individuals with insurance can keep the coverage they have now, and it will get better. The insurance reforms in the Act prohibit annual and lifetime limits, eliminate rescissions for individuals who become ill while insured, ban coverage denials for pre-existing conditions and reduce the cost of preventive care. To rein in soaring insurance costs, John spearheaded a provision that would limit the amount insurance companies can spend on administrative expenses, profits and other overhead – ensuring your premium dollars are spent on actual medical care.
Historic health care tax cuts. Those who do not receive health care coverage through their employer will be able to purchase coverage at group rates through a health insurance Exchange. The Exchange is a marketplace within which insurance companies will compete based on price, quality and service, such as the Massachusetts Connector. To make this insurance affordable, the Act contains the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in history, providing middle class families with incomes up to $88,200 for a family of four with tax credits to help pay for coverage in the exchange. For a family of four making $50,000, the average tax credit will be approximately $5,800.
Coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions. All employer plans and new plans in the individual market will be prohibited from denying coverage to children with pre‐existing conditions. When reforms are fully implemented in 2014, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny coverage or charge higher premiums on the basis of a “pre-existing condition” to all Americans. In the meantime, beginning this year, there will be an interim high-risk pool providing access to affordable coverage to those who are currently uninsured because of a pre-existing condition.
Financial security for families. The Act caps annual out-of-pocket costs at $6,200 for individuals and $12,300 for families who purchase insurance through the exchange or who are insured by small businesses. These reforms ensure families will not have to face financial ruin because of high health care costs.
Increasing Primary Care Physicians. The Act is expanding and reinforcing the nation’s health workforce by making key investments in training doctors, nurses, dentists and other health professionals. Health care reform will also relieve shortages in primary care and other fields by investing in scholarship, loan repayment and training grant programs to recruit and train many more primary care, nursing, public health and other needed professionals. These immediate investments will give Americans access to an increased number of trained medical professionals.