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Affordable Care Act starting to take effect

Jul 31

Affordable Care Act starting to take effect

It’s rare to see direct effects of things which happen nationally on a local level. As many have debated over and over again, the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and spearheaded by President Barack Obama has been debated and sliced and diced by a variety of media pundits and touted by Democrats as an achievement and criticized by Republicans as government overreach.

Personally, being self-employed and having seen my insurance premiums go up every year and seeing how little is actually covered by my insurance, I’ve wanted to see health care reform which makes it more affordable to pay for my own health insurance. Obviously, getting more benefits would be nice, too.

I’ve found it frustrating that the debate regarding the Affordable Care Act has been about somehow that government will be providing health care (which it does already) and instead the Affordable Care Act was more about regulating the insurance companies.

The good news is that the law has many provisions which are starting to take effect (see the letter below forwarded by a reader) but many more will are taking effect, including:

  • Children under the age of 19 can not be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions
  • Additional insurance choices for people who have been denied insurance (particularly for pre-existing conditions)
  • Tax credits for small businesses
  • Basic rights for the patients (e.g. the “customer” of health care)

Read the full list of rights and protections by the Affordable Care Act.

Receiving a letter like this must be pretty amazing. This reader received a rebate of $846.31 of unused premiums. I’m not sure how you can argue that receiving a rebate like this from health insurance can be considered a bad thing.

Affordable Care Act starting to produce rebates (click to enlarge)

Excerpts from the letter:

The Affordable Care Act requires Aetna Life Insurance Company to issue a rebate to you if Aetna Life Insrance Company does not spend at else 80 percent of the premiums it receives on health care services … We are enclosing a check. Your rebate is $846.31.