By Ann Hwang, Director of Health Care Policy and Strategy
Happy Third Birthday, ACA!
Three years ago, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In its first three years, the ACA has already improved the lives of many.
- About 71 million Americans in private insurance plans received expanded coverage of preventive services, such as mammograms and other cancer screenings, flu shots, and cholesterol checks, at no additional charge in 2011 and 2012.
- Nearly 3.5 million people with Medicare saved an average of more than $706 each on their prescriptions in 2012.
- There are 3.1 million young adults newly covered under their parents’ health plans.
- Health Centers in Massachusetts have received $133 million in grants under the Affordable Care Act so that they can better serve their communities.
The most significant changes will come in January of 2014. This is when there will be expanded coverage through subsidies for low and middle income families, as well as even stronger consumer protections in the insurance market.
Here in Massachusetts, we are working hard to implement the law and to ensure that Massachusetts’ residents will have the full benefits of the ACA. These benefits include federal funding that will allow us to streamline and improve coverage for low income populations, even as we save state dollars. Our health insurance exchange, the Health Connector, is also taking on new responsibilities and enhancing its services. There is much to be done to get ready for January 2014.
But today we’ll take a minute to say “Happy Birthday” to a health care law that is already improving the health of Americans and that will bring many more benefits to come.