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The Affordable Care Act Turns Three

Posted on 03/22/2013 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

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Doughnut Hole ClosingThe Affordable Care Act is three years old. So what does that mean? What has happened to improve health care over the past few years? Let’s take a quick look:

  • People with Medicare now get a 52.5% discount on brand-name drugs and a 21% discount on generics. People are already seeing a lot of savings.
  • Medicare has a free initial checkup and a free yearly wellness checkup.
  • Medicare also covers preventive care for free.
  • For people with insurance, free preventive and wellness benefits such as cancer screenings, blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol tests, and flu and pneumonia shots.
  • Insurance companies cannot drop your insurance if you’ve paid your premium.
  • Children are allowed to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans till age 26, even if they are married.

So that’s some pretty good stuff. But that’s not the end of it. The next few years will see further improvements to the public health landscape. Here a few things waiting for us in the future:

  • The health insurance marketplaces are opening in October 2013. These will offer a one-stop shop for people to compare different plans from different insurers.
  • The dreaded “doughnut hole” will continue to close, completely shutting by 2020.
  • Insurance companies will be banned from putting annual limits on health coverage.
  • Insurance companies can’t deny health coverage because of a preexisting condition.

11 Myths About Health Care Reform

This is just a brief glance at the ACA over the past few years and some things to come. You can find out more about benefits unique to you and how to access them by checking out our Health Law Guide. For anyone concerned about the doughnut hole, we have a huge mug of coffee in the form of a calculator that will provide you with the info you need.

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