Health Care Reform
Today, millions of Americans have access to health care because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) signed into law by President Obama in 2010. With this law, Senator Leahy and Congress acted to bolster the nation’s social safety net, protecting some of our most vulnerable citizens. For far too long, Senator Leahy heard heartbreaking stories about the enormous challenges Americans face because they are uninsured or underinsured. As each new provision of the Affordable Care Act is implemented, these stories are becoming fewer and fewer and are being replaced with stories of the success of these reforms, one family at a time, all across Vermont and all across America.
Vermont is one of the states that have chosen to run its own health insurance exchange, called a “marketplace” and Senator Leahy is proud of the work the state is doing to make sure the marketplace is working well on October 1, when enrollment can begin. As with any major law, implementation of the ACA may hit a few bumps along the way but Senator Leahy is confident Vermont and the Administration are working hard to be prepared to enroll millions of more Americans in health care plans. Senator Leahy will continue to work with the Department of Health and Human Services to help ensure Americans have the access to the quality, affordable health insurance that each American needs and deserves.
How Vermonters benefit from the ACA:
- Estimates show that 44,000 Vermonters currently do not have health insurance, but with the Medicaid expansion contained in the Affordable Care Act, 84 percent of these Vermonters will qualify for Medicaid or a premium tax credit.
- Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, more than 5,000 young adults in Vermont have gained health insurance coverage under these reforms, which allow young adults to stay on their parents’ plans until their 26th birthdays. To learn more, please click here.
- There are no longer annual or lifetime limits on coverage which means individuals and families who suffer from chronic disease will no longer worry about gaps in care or coverage. So far, 215,000 Vermonters, including 87,000 women and 46,000 children, no longer have to worry about lifetime limits on healthcare coverage. To learn more, please click here.
- Beginning in January, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing health conditions or to charge higher premiums based on health status or gender. To learn more, please click here.
- Dozens of preventative health services are now available at no cost to the patient. Last year alone, over 150,000 Vermonters, and more than 80,000 individuals with traditional Medicare used one or more free preventive service. To learn more, please click here.
- Under the law, seniors have already seen their prescription drug costs lowered as the prescription drug coverage gap known as the “donut hole” is being closed. Since the passage of the ACA, Vermont seniors have saved $14 million in drug costs. In 2012 alone, 6,390 individuals in Vermont saved over $5 million, or an average of $765 per beneficiary. To learn more please click here.
Senator Leahy believes Vermont’s health care system is a model for the rest of the country and to ensure you have the resources you and your family need for enrollment, please use the following resources below and feel free to contact Senator Leahy’s offices to answer additional questions.
To learn more about what the ACA has done for Vermont click here.
Additional resources for individuals, families and businesses: