The Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act will Benefit Women, Children and Families in Missouri
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is federal health care reform that became law on March 23, 2010 and was upheld by the United States Supreme Court on June 28, 2012. The ACA overhauls the U.S. health care system in three key areas; increasing access to health care coverage, lowering medical costs, and improving health outcomes.
The Affordable Care Act will impact the lives of women, children and families, but it is often difficult and overwhelming to understand all its different benefits and improvements. That’s why Generate Health is providing the latest updates about the implementation of this important law.
The Health Insurance Marketplace
Beginning in 2014, the Health Insurance Marketplace allowed consumers to look for the insurance plan that fits their budget and best meets their needs. With one application consumers can see all their options and enroll. In Missouri, the federal government will run the marketplace.
The Marketplace is a more fair system for women and families. Plans cannot charge women more than men, turn you away or charge you more because you have an illness or medical condition. Also, plans in the Marketplace cover the essential health benefits that many plans currently leave out.
Another benefit of the ACA to women and families that began in 2014, is that individuals without health benefits will receive tax credits to help buy insurance through the marketplaces. Credits will be available up to 400 percent of the poverty level or a maximum income of $94,200 for a family of 4.
Coverage through the Marketplace began on January 1, 2014. The next enrollment period begins November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015 with coverage beginning on January 1, 2015. For more information on the marketplaces and enrollment go to www.healthcare.gov or covermissouri.org.
Generate Health supports the expansion of Medicaid in Missouri as outlined by federal health care reform. We are also committed to bring the Making Change Happen Leadership Academy community timely, accurate information on the issue and to connect you to advocacy efforts in our region.
Under the ACA, states have the choice to expand Medicaid to provide health insurance to single parents and childless adults who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level, or about $26,000 for a family of three. Unfortunately, in 2013 and 2014, the Missouri General Assembly missed the opportunity to expand Medicaid in our state. Here are some reasons why Medicaid Expansion is the right thing and the smart thing to do for women, children and families in our state:
- 877,000 Missourians currently have no health insurance at all. That’s why we need to expand Medicaid coverage to help insure those who need it the most, like families with children who are working hard to make ends meet.
- Expanding Medicaid will help allow 255,000 more hardworking Missourians who earn just a fraction of the federal poverty line to purchase insurance. A recent study shows that expanding coverage could even save the lives of as many as 6% of the people who enroll.
- Missouri currently makes it harder than almost any other state to qualify for Medicaid. Under today’s rules, a single mother of two can’t qualify for basic health care through Medicaid if she makes anything more than $3,504 per year – just 18% of the poverty line.
- Expanding Medicaid is affordable for Missouri, with the state paying nothing for the first three years. The national health care reform law provides more than $8 billion for Missouri, meaning our state won’t have to pay anything until 2017 and only 10% of the expansion costs after that.
- Expanding Medicaid means thousands of good new jobs in Missouri – more than 24,000 in the first year, according to a recent study by the University of Missouri