Federal Reform and Implementation

RWJF's Animated Educational Video Series - Around the country, many ACA implementation efforts are already underway. Still, many Americans are unclear about what the individual reforms mean, and more importantly, how the new benefits and provisions of reform will impact them. 

Medicare: 6 Things You Need to Know Now - a brief guide developed by Consumer Reports to let you know how the Affordable Care Act has affected Medicare and your benefits in 2011. This publication will help you better navigate the Medicare system. 

KidsWell - a state and national campaign focused on successful health care reform implementation on behalf of children. 

Let's Move Forward - Everyone Wins!

For individuals and families, moving forward means: 

  • Getting coverage for 129 million Americans with chronic diseases and pre-existing conditions. 
  • Halting insurance companies from the practice of dropping your coverage when you get sick; or limit the care you receive.
  • Ensuring that children will not be denied care because of a pre-existing condition.
  • Putting you in charge of your health care needs and not your insurance company.
  • Reducing out of pocket expenses that can make a real difference. 

Learn more

For women, moving forward means: 

  • Eliminating gender bias in insurance policies, including eliminating Caesarean sections and domestic violence as pre-existing conditions that impact premiums. 
  • Requiring that women receive preventive health care with no co-pay. 

Learn more from the National Women's Law CenterRaising Women's Voices, and The Commonwealth Fund

For young adults, moving forward means: 

  • Getting health care coverage for recent graduates even if they haven't found a job. 
  • Ensuring that they can never again be denied care because of pre-existing conditions or have their coverage dropped because they got too sick.  

For seniors, moving forward means:

  • Strengthening Medicare.
  • Knowing that the "donut hole" will be closed. 
  • Providing preventive care, such as annual check-up and cancer screenings with no co-pay. 

Learn more.

For Small Businesses, moving forward means: 

  • Knowing that they can afford to offer health care to their employees and that there are tax credits to make that possible. 

Learn if you qualify

The Price of Repealing the Affordable Care Act: Maryland

Amid the discussion of a potential repeal of the ACA often lost is the benefits it has already brought to Marylanders.  This article atwww.healthcare.gov highlights the benefits already helping Marylanders.

Medical Loss Ratio Regulations

The new regulations were released for implementing the Medical Loss Ratio of 80-85%, a key component of the new health care reform act.  Today, many insurance companies spend a substantial portion of consumers’ premium dollars on administrative costs and profits, including executive salaries, overhead, and marketing.  Consumers will receive more value for their premium dollar because insurance companies will be required to spend 80 to 85 percent of premium dollars on medical care and health care quality improvement, rather than on administrative costs, starting in 2011.  If they don’t, the insurance companies will be required to provide a rebate to their customers starting in 2012.

Health Reform Source

Kaiser Family Foundation has a website full of information and features about the federal health reform law including an animated movie and FAQs.

Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit

Starting in 2010, up to 4 million small businesses that offer healthcare coverage to their employees may be eligible for a tax credit. Fill in the amounts below to find out what your tax credit will be. This website will allow small businesses to calculate their tax credit.

Health Reform Subsidy Calculator

The Kaiser Family Foundation published an updated Subsidy Calculator.  The tool illustrates premiums and government assistance under the health reform law.  Beginning in 2014, tax credits will be available for people under age 65 who purchase coverage on their own in a health insurance Exchange and are not covered through their employer, Medicare or Medicaid. The tool allows the user to examine the impact at different income levels, ages, family sizes, and regional costs.

Young Adults Gain New Coverage Option

A June 2010 brief by Sarah Lueck of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities which explains the details and the impact of the new policy on young adults on their parents policy, as outlined in regulations recently issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

How the Health Reform Law Reduces the Deficit, Part 1

A podcast from the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities held on May 25, 2010 discusses how the law saves money for the federal government which helps reduce the federal deficit.

How the Health Reform Law Reduces the Deficit, Part 2

A podcast from the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities held on on June 1, 2010 discusses the law’s major sources of revenue which helps reduce the federal deficit.

Making Health Care More Affordable: The New Premium and Cost-Sharing Credits

A May 19, 2010 report from the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities discusses the credits that will be available in the new health insurance exchanges to people of modest means to help them pay for health insurance premiums and “cost-sharing” expenses.

Health Reform Subsidy Calculator – Premium Assistance for Coverage in Exchanges/Gateways

This calculator tool illustrates premiums and government assistance provided under the health reform bills originally passed by the House and Senate and the final legislation for people under age 65 who purchase coverage on their own in an Exchange and are not covered through their employer, Medicare or Medicaid. While the majority of insurance expansions will not take effect until 2014, the results are presented in terms of 2009 premium and income levels to enable better comparisons to current circumstances. The tool allows the user to examine the impact at different income levels.   Advanced settings allow users to change assumptions to show the effect of different policy choices.

National Health Reform: What You Need to Know Right Now

Community Catalyst has compiled a terrific website with several informative articles on the details of the new health reform bill.

The Kaiser Family Foundation articles on the new health reform law:

Health Reform Implementation Timeline

Key Changes to the Medicare Part D Drug Benefit Coverage Gap

Health Care and You

AARP summary of the impact on seniors of the new health reform bill.

Side-By-Side Comparisons of the Major Health Care Reform Proposals

A Kaiser Family Foundation detailed report (40 pages) which compares the final Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with the bill that originaly passed the House and the bill that passed the Senate. 

The Health Care & Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010: Implementation Timeline

This article provides a year by year breakdown when the provisions of the new health care reform act become effective.  Very useful to understand when the benefits will be available.

Health Insurance Reform At A Glance: Insurance Market Reforms That Protect Consumers

There are numerous reforms included in the health care reform act that impact the insurance offered by health insurance companies which are detailed in this article.

Health Care Reform: A Consumer's Guide

Consumer Reports online guide to health care reform explains the current system, how the system would work, why reform is needed, and answers important questions.