ABC's of Health Care Reform and You
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in March 2010. Some parts of the law are already in place and others will come online in the coming months and years. The ACA will transform the way health care is delivered and paid for. It will emphasize a more coordinated approach to care. That means patients will benefit from all providers - doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, and others – working together to deliver the best care at the right time, in the right place. To improve quality, doctors, hospitals and other health providers will only be paid when quality targets for care are met. This is a performance-based payment system. Electronic medical records will be crucial in this seamless process.
The year 2014 will be pivotal for the law. That is when all Americans are required to have health insurance (known as the individual mandate provision) and the numbers of uninsured Americans will begin to decline. The law provides credits and subsidies for small businesses, individuals, and those with employer-based insurance to participate affordably. However, the constitutionality of the individual mandate was challenged and the Supreme Court heard arguments about the law in March 2012. On Thursday, June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the individual mandate on individuals to purchase health insurance. Click here to read the full statement on behalf of Long Island hospitals regarding this historic decision.
Architects of the Affordable Care Act say its design will enhance care, improve coordination and communication among all health providers, and move everyone in the direction of cost savings. In fact, the nation's hospitals pledged $155 billion over the course of 10 years to help fund the law. By 2020, Long Island's hospitals will have contributed nearly $2 billion in reimbursement cuts to the effort. This investment will be offset, in part, by the influx of insured patients. That's a goal that is in everyone's best interests.
The law will affect different age groups and segments of the population in different ways, at different times. The law tries to strike a reasonable balance between insurance reforms, provider cuts, and the individual mandate. That's why Long Island's hospitals want you to understand the basic ABC's of the law.
Related Links and More information:
- www.ppefny.org (Public Policy and Education Fund of New York)
- www.hcfany.org (Health Care For All New York)
- www.kaiserhealthnews.org (Kaiser Family Foundation)
- www.rwjf.org (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
- www.healthcare.gov (Federal site)
In June 2013, this website was re-vamped and is now more consumer-focused and offers a 24/7 consumer call center 1-800-318-2596/TTY: 1-855-889-4325. Also offers online CHAT feature. (updated 6/18/2014)
- www.healthcarereform.ny.gov (New York State site)
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) From Coverage to Care – 10 Part Video Series
Health Care Associations:
- www.aha.org (American Hospital Association)
- www.hanys.org (Healthcare Association of New York State)
Consumer- Friendly, Illustrated Book:
Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It's Necessary, How It Works by economist Jonathan Gruber
This information brought to you as a public service by the member hospitals of the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council (NSHC). The NSHC is the association that represents hospitals on Long Island. It advocates for reasonable and rationale health care legislation and policy that positively enhances the provision of health care for all Long Islanders.
Disclaimer: This information is provided purely as a public service and does not substitute for legal and/or financial advice related to the Affordable Care Act. The law is complicated and requires one to connect with a variety of sources to understand its implications for individuals.
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