Organizations and Programs
This a challenging time to research health insurance policies and benefits. Although the ultimate results of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act promise to produce positive changes to our nation's health care system, the industry is experiencing change and uncertainty. Resources, however, are available wherever you choose to turn.
Dr. Carolyn McClanahan, a physician and a financial advisor, wrote a synthesis of the legislation for the website Forbes.com, titled "Cliffs Notes Version of the Affordable Care Act."In the article, she summarizes the 10 titles of the bill and provides specifics as to what consumers can expect as changes are implemented over the next decade. Once each change has taken effect, professional researchers will identify the public and private agencies, departments, offices, foundations and other organizations involved in the current and planned healthcare system.
In the meantime, here are other resources for your search.
The White House's Healthcare Reform Overview
This site provides a simple list of the changes already in progress as a result of the passage of the Affordable Care Act. A partial list of the completed and anticipated changes include:
A partial list of the completed and anticipated changes include:
- Eventual elimination of lifetime limits on insurance coverage.
- Eventual elimination of insurance carriers' refusal to insure individuals with preexisting conditions. Already, 17.6 million children with preexisting conditions are now insurable.
- Insurer rebates returned to you or your employer beginning in 2012, if 80 percent of your premium dollar is not spent on medical care and quality improvements.
- Elimination of unreasonable rate increases.
- Small business tax credits.
- Preventive medicine benefits included without deductibles or copayments, including testing and procedures.
- Coverage for young adults up to age 26 under their parents' policies.
- Affordable insurance exchanges where individuals can compare and shop for policies.
Most importantly, this website provides multiple links to many of the public and private agencies, institutions, bureaus, departments, offices, foundations and other organizations involved in these changes.
State Boards of Insurance
Although the Affordable Care Act is a federally mandated law, states vary significantly by what they require of insurance providers and health care entities. Use your browser's search function or directory assistance to find the contact information for your state's governing body and request any information, brochures or booklets they can provide.
WorldTrips provides a helpful means of conducting an audit of current state requirements on its website page for short term medical insurance. Using the map of the United States, either click on your state or use the pull-down menu to specify your location. The resulting page will list “General STM Benefits” in addition to “State Specific Benefits.” Beneath these two lists you will find a website for that state’s governing body, allowing you easy contact.
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation website, HealthReformKFF.org, has developed an instructive and interactive visual tool, "Illustrating Health Reform: How Health Insurance Coverage Will Work." This multiple-page series of interactive graphics simplifies some of the bureaucratic jargon and helps participants better understand the planned timeline of changes to occur under the Affordable Care Act.
Accountable Care Organizations
Public and private health delivery systems are both mandated to adopt the Patient Centered Medical Care Home model, also known as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). Under this system, patients are expected to have a supervising physician who oversees a team of professionals.
Aging and Disability Resource Centers
These centers are expected to "provide expert counselors to help older Americans and people with disabilities and their family members understand the services and supports that are available to them in their communities."
This private organization will continue to be a valuable resource for individuals seeking information on aging and retirement.