Affordable Care Act at 3

To mark the third anniversary of the landmark health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, CCLP produced a series of issue briefs analyzing the effect of the law on the lives of low-income Coloradans.

Part One: How Colorado’s insurance exchange is gearing up for 2014

Among the ACA’s sweeping reforms is the requirement that all states establish new marketplaces – or exchanges – that enable Americans to shop for and obtain health insurance coverage. Exchanges are intended to help people fulfill one of the ACA’s basic requirements — that everyone have health insurance by 2014. Exchanges will offer expanded choices of health coverage, foster competition and make available comparative information about insurance benefits, quality and consumer satisfaction. Exchanges will also help many individuals and families access federal premium tax credits so that they can afford to buy insurance. The Colorado Health Benefit Exchange (COHBE), which will be doing business under the name “Connect to Health Colorado” later in 2013, is well under development. However, with just over five months until exchanges will go live and begin accepting applications for coverage, there is a lot left to do.

Part Two: Key components implemented so far provide bridges to coverage

Many of the key provisions of the ACA, including prohibitions on exclusions because of preexisting conditions, elimination of annual limits, the establishment of health insurance exchanges, and expansion of Medicaid go into effect in January, 2014. Together, these insurance market reforms and coverage expansions will add 30 million Americans to the ranks of the insured. When drafting the law, members of Congress recognized that Americans who need access to affordable, quality health insurance could not wait until 2014, when many of the law’s major reforms become effective. While federal agencies are working to fully implement the law, Congress has created several provisions and programs to bridge the coverage gap between the time of the law’s passage and its full implementation.

Part Three: Meaningful insurance market reforms become effective January 1, 2014

Among the ACA’s sweeping reforms are a number of requirements that will dramatically affect the commercial insurance market beginning in 2014. Several of these changes— such as requiring insurance companies to cover children with pre-existing conditions — have already become effective. However, many of the more major reform provisions become effective January 1, 2014. The intent behind many of the major insurance market reforms is to make access to insurance fair, particularly for people who have historically faced barriers accessing insurance because of pre-existing conditions. The reforms also ensure that insurance plans provide meaningful coverage by requiring a minimum floor of benefits. This issue brief examines the major ACA insurance market reforms, which will become effective in January 2014.

Part Four: Federal investments in coverage, consumer protection and prevention

In drafting the ACA, Congress acknowledged that these health care reforms would require additional investments at the state and local level. In total, Colorado has received nearly $400 million in federal grants created by the ACA. These investments are helping to expand coverage, protect consumers and promote prevention throughout Colorado.

Part Five: Strengthening Medicare

In drafting the ACA, Congress acknowledged that these health care reforms would require additional investments at the state and local level. In total, Colorado has received nearly $400 million in federal grants created by the ACA. These investments are helping to expand coverage, protect consumers and promote prevention throughout Colorado.

 

Click here to read CCLP’s ACA at 4 post.