The health reform law, commonly referred to as the “Affordable Care Act” (or ACA), represents the broadest reform to the United States’ health care system since the 1960s.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010 after a two year process by Congress and the President. Two subsequent challenges to the law was also decided by the Supreme Court.
The ACA includes many changes important to individuals with HIV, and to the practice of HIV medical care. Learn more by selecting one of the topics below:
The law requires that starting in 2014, all citizens obtain health insurance coverage or face tax penalties. If individuals are already offered health coverage by an employer or other option, they do not have to change their insurance. For those who do not have coverage, the ACA offers new options to obtain it.
Patient Protections for Insured
The law created new patient protections for those who have insurance. Many of these are very important to people living with HIV, including prohibiting discrimination based gender, pre-existing conditions, or health status.
Essential Health Benefits
The law specified new “essential health benefits” that would be covered for patients.
Changes to Programs:
Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIPs)
The ACA required that every state make health insurance available to people who have had a problem getting insurance due to a pre-existing conditions, until 2014.
One of the biggest changes in the ACA is the proposed expansion of the Medicaid program. The law also made many other changes to the Medicaid program.
State Insurance Exchanges
The ACA establishes new Insurance Exchanges in each state, to offer those who lack insurance coverage affordable individuals and small groups plans. The Exchanges are either state-run or federally-run. Insurers will offer various plans at different price and benefit levels. Tax credits are available to low-income patients. Insurers are required to include Essential Community Providers, like HIV providers, in their networks.
Starting in 2014 many of Ryan White patients will have the opportunity to obtain coverage through other programs. This indicates many changes are ahead for the Ryna White Program.
The law eliminates the so-called “donut hole” in the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit by 2020 and created an important change for the Ryan White ADAP program
Thousands of Americans will be enrolling in these new programs, starting as soon as October 1, 2013. The law also created opportunities to offer trained assistance for patients through the Patient Navigator Program, and other enrollment counselors.
Many of the provisions of the law are being implemented at the state level.
It is important for both patients and providers to know how the ACA is being implemented in your state.
The implementation of the Affordable Care Act is developing rapidly. We are keeping track of some of the latest keys developments.
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page to find additional resources and topics.
Our Advocacy Efforts:
To learn about AAHIVM’s advocacy efforts on behalf of our members during the law’s development, or since its passage, visit Our Advocacy Efforts