The Affordable Care Act is critically threatened. Anticipated changes will dramatically affect people's lives and shift the entire health care landscape.
That's why we are creating this series of one-pagers, to show in clear and simple ways how the protections of the ACA affect everyday people's lives in substantial ways. (All persons are fictitious, but the health plan data is real.)
Use these briefs in your efforts to educate, advocate with legislators, and shape effective policy. Download, link, and and share them.
The Affordable Care Act created some pretty important protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Because of the ACA insurers cannot charge more, limit benefits, or deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
1 out of 2 Americans has a condition that could be considered a pre-existing condition. Pre-existing conditions can range from cancer to heart disease or depression.
Two working women with epilepsy
Their conditions are similar, but they fare differently before and after the ACA.
The Affordable Care Act's subsidies help people pay for health insurance. These subsidies are provided either through tax credits to consumers or payments directly to insurers. The subsidy amount a person or family receives is based on many factors including age, family status, and income.
Nearly 85% of people enrolled in exchange plans in 2016 received subsidies. Those subsidies averaged $291 per month. Subsidy dollars translate into a tangible positive impact on people’s ability to pay for other essentials. Using cost of living data along with ACA plan selection tools, we can translate subsidy assistance into cost savings. More importantly, we can show how those savings help people meet their other essential expenses.
Urban millennial with MS
At 27, this entry-level worker just moved off his parents' insurance. His subsidy equals two months of rent.
Organ transplant recipient, single mom
The subsidy she got with a Silver plan would save this downsized researcher almost $1,400 a month.
Carbondale cashier gets a raise
Her raise cost her health plan, but she's still covered and can afford gas and phone service.
Medicaid covers 1 of every 5 births, and 1 in 4 lives in Illinois, and spends nearly 30% of its total expenditures on services and supports that help people live independently in their communities. Legislation now before Congress would slash $880 billion from this program, and change the way these federal contributions are allocated. The Medicaid expansion helps both low-income able-bodied people and people with disabilities to access coverage when they would otherwise be unable to purchase private market coverage, or be categorically ineligible for Medicaid.
Unpacking the "Per Capita Cuts"
Limiting federal Medicaid dollars to a set amount per person enrolled leaves it up to the states, effectively rationing care.
Medicaid recipients are working
Expanding Medicaid helped people return to work, stay at their jobs, and make sure their families' have health care coverage.
The Affordable Care Act, landmark legislation signed in 2010, touches the lives of more than 20 million Americans. At HDA, we are working to inform advocates, health care consumers, and decision-makers on how proposed changes to the law will impact us all, especially those managing chronic health conditions.
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