In a historic decision, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the constitutionality of the individual mandate clause–the requirement for all Americans to carry health insurance. While the affects of the decision may not be visible overnight, the law will have a direct impact on most Americans and community health centers.
What does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mean to you?
For the 250 million Americans already covered with health insurance:
1) ACA will make health insurance more affordable and MORE SECURE. Under the ACA, insurance companies will no longer be able to place lifetime limits on the amount of care patients receive, can no longer discriminate against children with preexisting conditions, and can no longer drop patient coverage if they become sick.
2) Health insurance companies cannot raise premiums without a reason. As a matter of fact, providers will be required to provide FREE PREVENTATIVE CARE such as: check-ups and mammograms.
3) Senior citizens will receive discounts on their prescription drugs in efforts to close the “donut hole” of Medicare Part D.
For the 30 million Americans without health insurance coverage:
1) Starting 2014, the law will offer multiple affordable private insurance plans, with each state in charge of designing their health insurance marketplaces.
2) Everyone will have the same opportunity to quality, affordable health care. Patients that cannot afford premiums will receive a credit to help cover costs.
3) Young adults under the age of 26 will be able to remain under their parent’s health insurance plan.
Thursday’s decision was a critical step forward in health care reform and will benefit all Americans in creating healthier individuals and communities. Under the ACA Medicaid expansion, California community clinics and health centers would receive hundreds of millions of dollars to expand access to high-quality, cost-efficient health care services. Thus far, Tri-City Health Center (TCHC) would be able to further expand care in our communities and provide services to those in need.
To this day, more than 50% of TCHC patients are uninsured, with California clinics and health centers (CCHCs) providing care to more than 1.6 million uninsured individuals each year. Through the expansion of Medicaid, 1.6 to 1.9 million Californians would finally have comprehensive and quality health care coverage and will be served in our CCHCs.
Regardless of the decision by the Supreme Court, Tri-City Health Center and community health centers in Alameda County are committed to our mission to serve the uninsured and underserved.
Follow Tri-City Health Center and become a TCHC advocate and join our team to drive for quality health care.