July 5, 2012
State Rep. Kim Fawcett said Thursday that the U.S. Supreme Court’s upholding of the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) will result in significant benefits for many families.
“Regular families are going to see significant benefits because of the Supreme Court’s ruling,” Fawcett said. “There are some very important components in the federal health care law that will protect people and provide health care coverage for many Connecticut residents.”
A key provision of the ACA requires states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. The court said the provision is constitutional as long as states would lose only new funds if they do not comply with new requirements, rather than lose all of their funding.
“This is important because many families and children have directly benefited in the past 15 months from the ACA,” Fawcett said.
The ruling also means that provisions of the ACA that already have taken effect (or will soon) can move forward. These include:
- the creation of health exchanges by the states and federal funding of co-ops – private non-profit health insurance companies (Connecticut received $76 million two weeks ago).
- a provision that prohibits the denial of health care coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
- access to affordable preventive services for women.
- allowing parents to keep children on their health insurance policies until the age of 26 (Connecticut passed this law prior to the federal law).
- significant cost savings for seniors on prescription drug costs.
- elimination of annual and lifetime benefit limits.
- help for small businesses to provide affordable health insurance.
Fawcett also said it is estimated that:
- Over 240,000 individuals will participate in a health insurance exchange, including 40,000 employees of small businesses. A large portion of these consumers will be eligible for subsidies in the form of a tax credit.
- Connecticut’s uninsured population will drop by at least 170,000 people.
- The state will see its projected health care spending drop by 10 percent between 2011 and 2020 – a savings of billions of dollars.
Among some of the ACA’s highlights for Connecticut residents:
- More than 40,000 state residents received a $250 rebate to help cover the cost of their prescription drugs. Since Connecticut residents with Medicare have saved $44.7 million on prescription drugs.
- Last year, 422,154 state residents received free preventive services – such as mammograms and colonoscopies – or a free annual wellness visit.
- 137,452 state residents with private insurance will receive $13 million in rebates from insurance companies this summer.
- 1,386,000 state residents (including 525,000 women and 367,000 children) no longer have to worry about lifetime limits on health insurance coverage (this is especially important for cancer patients and those with chronic diseases.)