Health Care Reform: The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is a law that was passed in 2010. As different parts of this law take effect over time, disabled people will gain new options for health care. More people will be able to get coverage.

There are a lot of important things for you to learn about this law. Here are some key points for people with disabilities:

No Denial Due to Pre-existing Conditions

Many disabled people have been denied insurance because they have “pre-existing conditions.” This means they already had a disability or health condition before they applied for insurance. By 2014, insurance companies cannot refuse to provide coverage because you have a pre-existing condition. Insurance will not be able to stop paying for care because of a pre-existing condition, or cancel paying because you have a new condition.

No Lifetime Caps

Insurance companies cannot stop paying for care when the cost reaches a certain dollar amount. This means insurance cannot be cut off because you have an expensive condition. This is now in effect.

Increased Medicaid Eligibility

Medicaid, a program that pays for health care for people who cannot afford it, will become available to more people. Applying for Medicaid will become easier and faster.

The CLASS Act

 The Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act (CLASS Act) is a new insurance program that will help pay for long-term care costs for disabled and elderly people. It begins in 2012.

The Community First Choice (CFC) Option

Depending on your state, Medicaidmay allow people with disabilities to choose community-based services instead of nursing homes. If this option is made available in your state, it will begin in October, 2011.