Real Help for Real Rural People

It has been over two years since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law. In that time, millions of Americans have been helped.

“Being able to stay on my parents’ insurance means that I could find work that I was excited and passionate about and not worry about insurance because it was already accounted for.” —Alyssa Charney, Food Corp Volunteer, Red Lodge, Montana

Parts of the law providing new health care benefits and insurance coverage are especially important for rural people because of the demographics and unique economic circumstances of rural areas. Of course, rural people and families in large numbers have also benefited from the more general provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Our latest health care report, The Affordable Care Act: Real Help for Real People, talks about the kind of help that real people are getting every day.

Youth.
Nationally, young adults are still the age group least likely to have health insurance. However, those aged 18 to 24 were the only ones to experience a significant increase in health insurance coverage during 2010, the most recent year for which data is available.

“Because of the Affordable Care Act, my 13 year old sister and I don’t have to count how many physicals or eye checks either of us need now that we don’t have to worry about whether we can make co-pays. And one less worry is certainly one less load to carry.” —Jennifer Rude, Callaway, Minnesota

Senior Citizens.
Some seniors and people with disabilities find themselves in the Medicare “donut hole.” The “donut hole” is the Medicare Part D coverage gap, the difference of the initial coverage limit and the catastrophic coverage threshold. In the “donut hole,” a person who passes the Medicare limit for prescription drug coverage is financially responsible for the entire cost of their prescription drugs until the catastrophic coverage threshold is reached. The Affordable Care Act gradually closes the “donut hole” by providing rebates and discounts on prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. It will completely close the “donut hole” in 2020.

Preventive Services.
The Affordable Care Act requires new health plans (those plans joined after March 23, 2010) to cover recommended preventive services at no charge by exempting those benefits from deductibles, co-pays and other cost-sharing requirements.

Children.
The Affordable Care Act removes financial barriers for children to obtain preventive care. Recommended checkups, vaccinations, screenings, and developmental assessments can all improve health outcomes and reduce the cost of future health care.

Small Business.
The Affordable Care Act provided small businesses the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit to assist them in providing health insurance for their employees.

Read the full report here. Or contact me, Jon Bailey, jonb@cfra.org , for more information.