Today represents the 12-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being signed into law. The ACA represented a huge step forward for people with disabilities in trying to access health care coverage. Prior to the ACA, discrimination against people with disabilities and pre-existing conditions was entirely permissible by insurance companies as they could charge people with disabilities as much as they wanted or simply deny coverage altogether. The ACA changed all that.
As a result of the ACA, many consumer protections and other changes were put in place which benefit people with disabilities. These include:
- Prohibition against denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions
- Guaranteed renewability of coverage
- Prohibition against individual underwriting meaning that insurance companies cannot charge people with disabilities more simply because they have a disability
- Coverage of 10 essential health benefits, including items which are crucial for people with disabilities like prescription medication, mental health treatment, durable medical equipment and/or other medical devices, rehabilitation and/or habilitation benefits, and others
- Prohibition against annual and lifetime monetary caps
- Prohibition against discrimination in health programs
- Medicaid reforms including expansion of coverage for home and community based services and the Medicaid expansion
To read more about the changes which went into effect as a result of the ACA and why we think that those protections are ones which need to be preserved going forward, check out our prior statement entitled “Preserve the Protections Provided by the Affordable Care Act.”
To celebrate this anniversary, we will be participating in a tweet storm along with Young Invincibles on today at 2:00 PM ET. You can follow along on the AAHD Twitter or with the hashtags #ACA12 or #ThxACA.