How will healthcare reform affect my family?

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Confused about healthcare reform and what it means for you? You're not alone! We've received a lot of questions about how women and children will be impacted by the recent passage of healthcare reform. So, with the assistance of our brilliant policy partners, we put together a handy-dandy list of key components for children and families in healthcare reform that will be implemented over the next few years. Feel free to forward this email far & wide to friends and family too. We bet they'll thank you! (Scroll down this page to learn how you can stay informed with MomsRising).

What are some healthcare highlights for children and families?

Healthcare reform will begin to make health insurance accessible to more children and families this year:

• This year, insurance companies will no longer be able to refuse to pay for treatment of children's pre-existing conditions.
• This year, health care plans will allow young people to remain on their parents' insurance policy up until their 26th birthday, as long as they are not eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance coverage.
• This year, insurance companies will be banned from dropping people from coverage when they get sick, and they will be banned from implementing lifetime caps on coverage.
• This year, people who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions will have access to affordable insurance through a temporary subsidized high-risk pool.

"I have a 5-year-old little boy with hydrocephalus. He has a shunt that drains the fluid from his brain down to his belly. With that said, he is a healthy, smart, and extremely happy little boy. Our neurosurgeon says he is truly "best case scenario" -- very healthy! However, no insurance company will take us...no quote, no interest in looking at his medical charts, nothing!!! So we are left with truly no options for healthcare unless my husband or I close down one of our small businesses and go to work for corporate America...how much does that suck! So much for the American Dream!" --Renee, OH

Health insurance reform will also curb some of the worst insurance industry practices and strengthen consumer protections:

• This year, this bill creates a new, independent appeals process that ensures consumers in new private plans have access to an effective process to appeal decisions made by their insurer.
• Starting January 1, 2011, insurers in the individual and small group market will be required to spend 80 percent of their premium dollars on medical services. Insurers in the large group market will be required to spend 85 percent of their premium dollars on medical services. Any insurers who don't meet those thresholds will be required to provide rebates to their policyholders.

"I have MS and live in fear of not being able to make an insurance payment. If I miss one, I could have my insurance completely revoked, then trying to renew with any insurance company, my payments would be astronomical, due to a preexisting illness. If I were to get sick, unable to work -- I am a self employed muralist -- how can I make the money to even cover my health insurance? Talk about "stress" for an illness that is largely inflamed by stress. These are pretty sad statements for citizens of the wealthiest country in the world to make." -- Connie, AZ

Reform immediately begins to lower health care costs for American families and small businesses:

• This year, small businesses that choose to offer coverage will begin to receive tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums to help make employee coverage more affordable.
• This year, new private plans will be required to provide free preventive care: no co-payments and no deductibles for preventive services. And beginning January 1, 2011, Medicare will do the same.

"I'm 46 and married and have 3 kids, and never had to worry about health care until I lost my job. My husband is self-employed and he and I both have pre-existing conditions (I'm a cancer survivor) that make it impossible for us to find private insurance. We bought it for our three kids, but it's expensive and the loopholes and deductibles are so crazy, sometimes it feels as if we're not paying for anything, really. Next year it's time for my cancer scan, to make sure I'm still in remission. I can't get it. I also can't afford all but the most critical drugs to keep myself alive." --Nancy, FL

In 2014, when the reforms are fully implemented:

• Insurance companies will be banned from denying health insurance coverage to people of all ages because of pre-existing conditions.
• Families and children with moderate incomes (up to about $88,000 for a family of four) will be able to get help paying for health insurance coverage for the first time.
• State insurance exchanges will enforce minimum benefit standards for health insurance coverage.
• All new health insurance plans sold to individuals and small businesses will cover maternity and newborn care.

For more information about how health reform will affect your family see:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/what-health-bill-means-for-you/
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03/21/us/health-care-reform.html
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/03/23/whats-health-care-bill

 

For more information on specific issues in health reform see:

 

Health Reform Timeline from the Kaiser Family Foundation

Ten Things to Know About Health Reform from the National Partnership for Women & Families

Making Health Care More Affordable: The New Premium and Cost-Sharing Credits - From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, this piece explains what these credits are, who is eligible for them, how much they’re worth, and how they can be used.

 

Resources for Kids

Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Summary-A concise summary from First Focus with information on the program, its successes, and improvements implemented in 2009

What the Passage of Health Reform Means for Children-Another informative piece from First Focus explaining how children will be affected by the new health law

Holding the Line on Medicaid and CHIP: FAQs regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)-A Georgetown University Health Policy Institute document that answers frequently asked questions about the new law

 

Resources for the Unemployed

Getting Covered: Finding Health Insurance When You Lose Your Job-A great resource from Families USA with easy to follow instructions for identifying health insurance possibilities while unemployed

The COBRA Subsidy and Health Insurance for the Unemployed-A Kaiser Family Foundation article with information about COBRA, eligibility, costs, and other coverage options

 

Resources for Women

Medicare's Role for Women-Information from the Kaiser Family Foundation on Medicare and how it can benefit women

Health Reform Law Benefits for Pregnant Women and New Mothers-A great article from the National Partnership for Women & Families that details changes in the new law that will benefit new mothers

Time and Place to Pump at Work-A summary of Provision 4207, which requires employers to provide break time and a private location for nursing mothers to express breast milk in the first year after the child's birth

What Women Need to Know about Health Reform: Making Health Care More Affordable – A document from the National Women’s Law Center that explains how provisions aimed at preventing medical bankruptcy and increasing access to affordable coverage will benefit women.

What Women Need to Know about Health Reform: Improving Access to Affordable Preventive Care – The National Women’s Law Center looks at how women will benefit from provisions in health reform that expand coverage for preventive care and that eliminate cost-sharing for those services.

 

Resources for Young Adults

Health Coverage and Young Adults-Families USA provides information on eligibility, timelines, and links to additional information about the new law

Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act-The US Department of Health and Human Services' page on the new under-26 provision, including key elements of the provision, and which insurance companies are already extending coverage

 

Reform and Medicare/Medicaid

Medicare and the New Health Law – What it Means for You-Great information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on how the new health care law affects Medicare and what changes and improvements to expect

Medicare Rebate-Information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on the $250 Medicare rebate that aims to close the prescription drug coverage gap

Holding the Line on Medicaid and CHIP: FAQs regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)-A Georgetown University Health Policy Institute document that answers frequently asked questions about the new law

Medicaid Long-Term Services and Supports: Key Changes in the Health Reform Law – A Kaiser Family Foundation resource that outlines several important changes to Medicaid in the new law.

 

Resources for Early Retirees

The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program-Information from the White House Press Office on how this new provision will give quality, affordable care to early retirees while providing relief to businesses

 

Do you think your friends would be interested in getting this information too? Here's an easy way to share info now.

1. Before we can send the info their way, we need to know a little bit more about you so we can tell your friends who the info is from:


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    Can someone please explain what's in the health reform bill?

    Dear Friend,

    Confused about healthcare reform and what it means for you? You're not alone! There are lots of questions about how women and children will be impacted by the recent passage of healthcare reform. MomsRising, with the assistance of their brilliant policy partners, put together a handy-dandy list of key components for children and families in healthcare reform that will be implemented over the next few years. Feel free to forward this email far & wide to friends and family too. We bet they'll thank you!

    What are some healthcare highlights for children and families?

    This Year - The following is a short list of key, important changes that will happen this year due to the passage of healthcare reform: [1]*

    - Insurance companies will no longer be able to refuse to pay for treatment of children's pre-existing conditions.
    - Health care plans will allow young people to remain on their parents' insurance policy up until their 26th birthday, as long as they are not eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance coverage.
    - Insurance companies will be banned from dropping people from coverage when they get sick, and they will be banned from implementing lifetime caps on coverage.
    - People who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions will have access to affordable insurance through a temporary subsidized high-risk pool.
    - Small businesses that choose to offer coverage will begin to receive tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums to help make employee coverage more affordable.

    2014 - The following is a short list of key, important changes that will happen in 2014 due to the passage of healthcare reform: [2]*

    - Insurance companies will be banned from denying health insurance coverage to people of all ages because of pre-existing conditions.
    - Families and children with moderate incomes (up to about $88,000 for a family of four) will be able to get help paying for health insurance coverage.
    - State insurance exchanges will enforce minimum benefit standards for health insurance coverage.

    *Want more detailed information? Go here: http://action.momsrising.org/cms/sign/how-will-healthcare-reform-affect-my-family/?referring_akid=1835.1647384.X5BqM6&source=taf

    Have friends who are confused about what healthcare reform means for their families too? Click here to see their great resource page that can easily be shared with friends (or you can just forward this email around far & wide): http://action.momsrising.org/cms/sign/how-will-healthcare-reform-affect-my-family/?referring_akid=1835.1647384.X5BqM6&source=taf

    There is a lot of misinformation right now about what is in the health reform bill. Please take a minute to share this information with family and friends.

    Thanks!

    P.S. To read more about what's in the healthcare bill, click here to visit MomsRising's special resource webpage: http://action.momsrising.org/cms/sign/how-will-healthcare-reform-affect-my-family/?referring_akid=1835.1647384.X5BqM6&source=taf

    [1,2]:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/what-health-bill-means-for-you/
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03/21/us/health-care-reform.html
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/03/23/whats-health-care-bill

    Add a short note (optional, up to 500 characters):

    We'll keep you posted via email on this and other Mom's Rising campaigns.

    Thank you to our policy partners at Families USA for their help puling together this information and for all their great work on behalf of America's families.