Last week was a bit crazy and a little surprising.
The U.S. Supreme Court released their ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable on Thursday. And although there are still some unanswered questions on how it will all play out, we can say that the ACA:
- Requires Health plans to allow parents to keep their children under age 26 without job-based coverage on their family coverage. In South Carolina, 50,000 young adults in South Carolina gained insurance coverage as a result.
- Makes prescription drugs affordable for seniors. More than 30,000 people with Medicare in South Carolina received a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole in 2010. Since the law was enacted, South Carolina residents with Medicare have saved a total of $54,405,843 on their prescription drugs.
- Covers preventive services with no deductible or co-pay. In 2011, more than 600,000 people with Medicare in South Carolina received free preventive services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit with their doctor. Because of the law, 54 million Americans with private health insurance gained preventive service coverage with no cost-sharing, including 700,000 in South Carolina.
- Removes lifetime limits on health benefits. The law bans insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits – freeing cancer patients and individuals suffering from other chronic diseases from having to worry about going without treatment because of their lifetime limits.
- Creates new coverage options for individuals with pre-existing conditions As of April 2012, more than 1,000 previously uninsured residents of South Carolina who were locked out of the coverage system because of a pre-existing condition are now insured through a new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that was created under the new health reform law.
- Increased the funding available to 177 existing community health centers in South Carolina. Health centers in South Carolina have received $43 million to create new health center sites in medically underserved areas, enable health centers to increase the number of patients served, expand preventive and primary health care services, and/or support major construction and renovation projects.
Regardless of one’s political views, the ruling is pretty monumental.