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Affordable Care Act overview

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the nation’s health reform law enacted in March 2010. It contains numerous provisions that will expand health coverage to 30 million Americans, increase benefits and lower costs for consumers, provide new funding for public health and prevention, bolster our health care and public health workforce and infrastructure, foster innovation and quality in our system and more.

The law consists of two pieces of legislation: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), enacted on March 23, 2010, and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA), enacted on March 30, 2010. Jointly they are referred to as the Affordable Care Act or ACA. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services offers more information below about how the ACA is affecting the people of Alabama.

How the ACA may affect Alabama

Because of the Affordable Care Act, the 84 percent of Alabamians who have insurance have more choices and stronger coverage than ever before. And for the 16 percent of Alabamians who don’t have insurance, or Alabama families and small businesses who buy their coverage but aren’t happy with it, a new day is just around the corner.

Soon, the new online Health Insurance Marketplace will provide families and small businesses who currently don’t have insurance, or are looking for a better deal, a new way to find health coverage that fits their needs and their budgets.

Open enrollment in the Marketplace starts Oct. 1, with coverage starting as soon as Jan. 1, 2014. But Alabama families and small business can visit right now to find the information they need to prepare for open enrollment.

The ACA provides Alabamians:

Cheaper prescription drugs for people with Medicare
$29,827,543 in total savings for 50,119 seniors, averaging $595.13 in savings per person in 2011

Free preventive services
819,000 people and 628,391 seniors with Medicare get preventive services for free

No more lifetime limits on care
1,566,000 people no longer have a lifetime limit on their care

Health insurance on your parent’s plan
39,417 more young adults under age 26 now have insurance on their parent’s plan

New rules on how insurers spend premiums
1,084,000 people protected by the 80/20 rule that requires insurers to spend 80 percent of premiums on care and quality

Coverage through a pre-existing condition insurance plan
340 people who were uninsured because of a pre-existing condition now have coverage

Affordable Insurance Exchange
$9,692,139 to help states build new marketplaces where consumers will have the same kinds of choices as members of Congress

Money for public health
$9,400,000 in grants to improve public health

Community health centers
$24,900,000 to support and expand community health centers

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