Is there a need for the 2010 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (hereinafter “Affordable Care Act”)? Let’s look at the number of uninsured in America. This nation’s deep economic recession and resulting decline in employer sponsored coverage contributed to a rise in the uninsured in recent years. Research indicates that these factors left fifty (50) million Americans without coverage in 2009.
While public insurance programs prevented some individuals from losing health insurance coverage, these programs do not reach all of those who cannot afford insurance. With that understanding, the Affordable Care Act seeks to address the gaps in our private-public insurance system. This new law requires most Americans to have health insurance and many will gain coverage through expanded Medicaid eligibility and subsidized private coverage for individuals with incomes up to four hundred (400) percent of poverty starting in 2014.
In March of this year, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act turned two years old. On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed a sweeping set of health care reforms into law. It was a historic moment in our nation’s history. Barack Obama was the first American president that was able to deliver a comprehensive health reform. This was a goal which eluded his predecessors. The new law focuses on the expansion of coverage, controlling health care costs, and improving the health care delivery system. Implementing health insurance reform will take some time but there were reforms which took effect in 2010.
What if any difference has this highly debated law made in the lives of the American people? To answer that question, we will look at some of the provisions that took effect to protect consumers in 2010. The Affordable Care Act prohibits: pre-existing condition exclusions for children; rescissions of health insurance policies; and eliminates lifetime and unreasonable annual limits on benefits, with annual limits prohibited in 2014.
The law provides assistance for those who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition. It requires coverage of preventive services and immunizations. It also extends dependant coverage up to age 26. The law ensures consumers have access to an effective appeals process and provide consumer a place to turn for assistance navigating the appeals process and accessing their coverage.
By 2014, when the bulk of the reform’s provisions come into effect, states are required to have put regulated insurance exchanges in place so that consumers can buy plans that meet minimum standards for coverage. At this juncture all will be required to buy insurance. Those persons financial unable to purchase insurance will be eligible for subsidies.
Sources: http://www.healthcare.gov; http://www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform/healthcare-overview; http://www.democraticleader.house.gov/; http://www.dpcsenate.gov/healthreformbill/healthbill; The Kaiser Family Foundation, “Focus on Health Reform.”
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
On Earth Day, give hope to victims of domestic violence. Verizon collects no-longer-used cell phones, batteries, and accessories and either refurbishes or recycles the phones. The refurbished cell phones along with three thousand (3,000) minutes of wireless service are provided to victims of domestic violence free of charge.
For many women violence and danger are their constant companions. Research indicates that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.[i] Indigent women are more vulnerable. As woman rebuild their lives, the refurbished cell phones serve as a link to supportive services in a time of crisis.
The pervasive problem of domestic violence takes everyone to make it stop. Consider donating your used cell phone— you could possibly save someone’s life. In honor of Earth Day 2011, you should consider donating your used cell telephone, battery, and/or charger.
Verizon Wireless states that “donating an old wireless phone to HopeLine® from Verizon is as easy as following these four steps:
- Turn the phone’s power off.
- Make sure the phone’s batteries are installed in the phone you are returning. Please do not include any loose batteries.
- Please remove storage cards (microSD, etc.) and SIM cards from phones prior to donation. Also be sure to return any travel chargers or other accessories that came with the devices.
- Seal the package and adhere the free postage-paid label to the box/envelope and drop it in the mail. To view and print the mailing label, you may need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- Don’t forget to include your return address on the shipping label. “
“Verizon Wireless takes the protection of customer information seriously. The company encourages everyone who plans to give a phone to HopeLine to erase any personal data on the phone before donating it. If in doubt on what to remove from your phone, leave it to the professionals. As part of the refurbishing process, HopeLine scrubs the phones prior to distributing them for re-use to ensure all customer information is removed.”
- Donated phones are not tax deductible.
- This shipping label is only intended for use by consumers who are donating their wireless phones to HopeLine. Customers who are not donating their phones but wish to return their wireless phones should contact Customer Service at 1-800-2 JOIN INbegin_of_the_skype_highlighting
- 1-800-2 JOIN IN end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit their local Verizon Wireless Communications Store.”
For information about Verizon’s cell phone donation process visit: http://aboutus.vzw.com/communityservice/hopeLine.html.
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
[i] Tjaden, Patricia & Thoennes, Nancy, National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 1993, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000)