This is the ninth in a series of blog posts celebrating the benefits that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides to people with disabilities. For the full list of prior and upcoming blog posts, see last Friday’s news item.
Other Benefits of the ACA
In our previous blog posts, we have examined the advancements that the ACA has brought about for people with disabilities, including needed insurance reforms, the prohibition against discrimination in §1557 and the expansion of eligibility for Medicaid. However, the ACA also brought about other changes which benefit a lot of Americans, including those with disabilities.
Insurance up to Age 26: One of these provisions is the requirement that all insurance companies continue to provide coverage for adult children on their parent’s plan until they reach the age of 26. Prior to the ACA, most adult children who wanted to remain on their parent’s plan needed to prove that they were full-time students. This would become problematic for some people with disabilities if they were unable to maintain a full-time status in a post-secondary program. The ACA provided greater flexibility to the students as they were able to stay on their parent’s plan until age 26 without any concern regarding their status.
Premium Tax Credits: Another benefit to many Americans, including people with disabilities was the creation of premium tax credits to help offset the cost of insurance. Prior to the ACA, one of the most common reasons given by people without insurance for not purchasing coverage was cost. The premium tax credits were offered as a way to provide assistance with the cost of insurance and with the premium tax credits being available to individuals all the way up to 400% of the federal poverty level, these credits benefit many Americans, including those with disabilities.
Money Follows the Person: Another benefit from the ACA that especially helps people with disabilities is that it expanded the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program within Medicaid. MFP was a program prior to the ACA which provided states with additional federal funding to help move individuals out of an institutional care setting and into home and community-based services (HCBS). Having individuals receive care in their home with HCBS rather than in an institution has been a goal of the disability community for many years. MFP provided more resources to do this and the ACA expanded this program.