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More on Affordable Care Act and did you know Congress-folk will participate in exchanges too?

By Dian Vujovich

Last week I looked at the timeline for the Affordable Care Act and focused only on the year in which the Act became law: 2010. Now here’s a look at what has happened since, and what’s to come in the years ahead.


-2011. Beginning on Jan. 1 last year, seniors who reached the prescriptions coverage gap on their drugs began receiving a 50 percent discount when buying Medicare Part D covered brand name drugs. Additional savings on brand name and generic drugs will go on until 2020 when that coverage gap is closed.


Last year also saw the beginning of some free preventive services, like annual wellness visits, for those on Medicare.


-2014. On Jan. 1, Affordable Care Insurance Exchanges will begin. These exchanges were created to offer insurance to employees whose employers, and to individuals, as well. Bigger still, members of Congress will receive their health care insurance through these exchanges, too.


Also beginning on day one of 2014, individuals who can’t afford to pay for basic health insurance must pay a fee. There are, however, exemptions to that fee, i.e. penalty.


Plus, beginning in this  year the law that prohibits new plans and existing group plans from placing annual dollar limits on the amount of coverage a person receives begins. And, insurance companies will no longer be able to refuse covering an individual because of any pre-existing health conditions or charge higher rates based on gender.


And, the second phase of the small business tax credit for small businesses and small non-profit organizations begins. Those tax credits for small business can amount to as much as 50 percent for an employer’s contributions to provide health insurance to their employees and 35 percent for small non-profits.


-2015. Physicians will see payments to them based on their quality of care and not volume of care.


Ongoing, the Act will continue to crack down on health care fraud and waste found in any Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP programs and services.


You’ll find more info about the Affordable Care Act at The National Physicians Alliance in this file at: npalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/NPA-ACA.Quick_.Guide_.for_.Physicians.041311.pdf


The Timeline source in this blog was:healthcare.gov/law/timeline/.

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

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