ACA’s Most Notable Provisions
The twenty-five provisions of the Affordable Care Act offer an extensive but not full list of health service benefits for the public; however, two of them have major significance. First, the Affordable Care Act has become one of the most important advances for women’s health in decades. According to the fourth provision, ACA will encourage the Institute of Medicine to offer preventative services targeted at women (Shi & Singh, 2014, p. 5). Despite the fact that women make up only a half of the population that requires support from the health care system, this provision will influence the well-being of millions of Americans. Under the Affordable Care Act, more than twenty million women that were previously uninsured will become eligible for quality health care coverage. Furthermore, significant importance lies in health care coverage for women whose employers did not provide any comprehensive health insurance. The availability of preventative services like mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, and birth control without any payments of copays and deductibles will also be guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act.
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Another important ACA provision is holding insurance companies accountable. Due to the widespread abusive practices employed by the insurance companies, the Affordable Care Act will target its forces at bringing fairness to the marketplace by means of setting a dollar limit on coverage and prohibiting any insurance discrimination on the basis of a pre-existing health condition (Shi & Singh, 2014, p. 5). The importance can be explained with a fact that women have lower income than men because of their interests and maternity leaves, and due to these aspects, a large part of their income is often consumed by the health costs that go out of their pockets, without the support of the insurance companies. Furthermore, according to the research conducted by the Commonwealth Fund (2009), over fifty percent of surveyed women admit delaying or avoiding health care services because of their high costs (HHS, 2013, para. 8). By means of eliminating the requirements in the sphere of cost-sharing, the government will allow women to make their own decisions on what preventative services they will use as well as when will they use them. Furthermore, as stated by HHS (2013), the rate of women going to check-up appointments like mammograms had increased by nine percent when the government removed the cost-sharing responsibilities (para. 9). Thus, apart from being instrumental in preventing cancer at early stages, mammograms will also be beneficial in protecting families from large expenses on medical bills.
Such actions will result in transparency on the part of insurance companies, forcing them to explain any increases in rates before they become reflected in the insurance bill. Because health care insurance is one of the most vital components of high-quality care, its transparency will allow the insured to see and understand what they are paying for, avoiding any unnecessary costs.
ACA Component with the Largest Impact on the Healthcare System
Despite ACA being called “far from a model of legislative craftsmanship” (Tyler, 2015, para. 4) and a “3-legged stool” (Gostin, 2015, p. 454), all of its components play important roles in the process of health care system development. However, the most impact can be made with the reform of government subsidiaries that will be provided to the individuals unable to get access to health care insurance. The Affordable Care Act has created a system of subsidies that are provided to families with low and middle income that will now be able to have access to health care insurance. The income of the family will be assessed on the basis of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) that will determine the size and the amount of the paid subsidies.
The component of the access to health care insurance for low-income families is a component that has already resulted in a reliable enrollment in the health insurance marketplace for approximately ten point two million Americans. The reduction of the uninsured individuals without any access to appropriate care can also already be called historical since more than sixteen million Americans with previously no access to insurance have received their health coverage. Furthermore, the access component of the Affordable Care Act has direct correlations to the affordability aspect, an aspect which can also bring an abundance of results for US healthcare in the future years.
This component of the Affordable Care Act will only bring benefits to the quality of the health care system that should also be responsible for the well-being of individuals that cannot get access to their health insurance. Furthermore, according to Gostin (2015), the Affordable Care Act has already been able to benefit up to nine and a half million uninsured Americans in obtaining health care insurance coverage (p. 454). Furthermore, any unfairness will be eliminated due to the subsidies being directly linked to the individual’s modified adjusted gross income. If the income of the individual decreases during the year, the government will pay back the overpaid amount while the underpaid amount should be paid back to the government (Ehealth, 2013, para. 7).
Ehealth. (2013). Obamacare Health Insurance Subsidies FAQ. Web.
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Gostin, L. (2015). Access to Health Care for Millions in the Balance as US Supreme Court Reviews Federal Subsidies for Insurance. Jama, 313(5), 454.
HHS. (2013). Affordable Care Act Rules on Expanding Access to Preventive Services for Women. Web.
Shi, L., & Singh, A. (2014). An Update on Health Care Reform in the United States. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Tyler, R. (2015). Supreme Court Upholds Subsidies on Federal Exchanges. Web.