During Week 9, I researched the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010) which is a piece of legislation enacted by former President Barack Obama that attempts to provide Americans with affordable quality healthcare and tries to lower healthcare spending in the US. I learned that the first aim of the Act is to cover more people and add more benefits. The Act mandates that every insurance company must guarantee coverage no matter what pre-existing health conditions the patient may have had. In addition, insurers must provide coverage for every American who wants to renew their insurance. Guaranteed Availability and Renewability were created to end discrimination of coverage based on gender or health status. The Act also mandates that every American must get health insurance or pay a penalty. This encourages relatively healthy people to pay the small penalty and the people with health issues to invest in health insurance and get early treatment. Regarding coverage, the ACA mandates that all health insurance companies are required to cover ten categories of essential benefits: ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services including behavioral health treatment, prescription drugs, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, and pediatric services, including oral and vision care. This mandate ensures that patients will have no copayments for these services, therefore, removing barriers to early treatment and preventative care and decreasing costs for insurance companies in the long-run.
Source: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 42 U.S.C. § 18001 (2010).