Health Care Reform
Today, millions of Americans have access to health care because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that was 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.
Here are some examples of how Vermonters have benefitted from the ACA:
- Since 2013, over 73,000 Vermonters have enrolled in a qualified health plan or Medicaid through Vermont Health Connect. An additional 33,000 Vermonters are covered by their employer and enrolled in a Vermont Health Connect plan directly through an insurance carrier.
- Over 215,000 Vermonters no longer have an annual limit on coverage, which means individuals and families who suffer from chronic disease will no longer worry about gaps in care or coverage.
- Dozens of preventative health services are now available at no cost to the patient. In 2013, nearly 90,000 Vermonters with Medicare used one or more free preventative service. Seniors have also saved an average of $898 per beneficiary on prescription drugs because of the closing of the “donut hole.
- In Vermont, over 280,000 people no longer have to worry about being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
- Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, premiums increased an average of 15 percent per year. People who bought insurance in the individual market saw annual double digit rate hikes in their premiums. With the implementation of the State Rate Review Program, Vermont received $5 million to strengthen health insurance rate review activity, which ensures companies are cost-effectively adjusting premium costs.
- Consumers have also saved $5 billion due to ACA guidelines that require insurance companies spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on care for patients, and if they fail to do so, they must send consumers a rebate.
Although the 2015 Open Enrollment concluded on February 15, 2015, please contact Senator Leahy’s offices to ensure you have the resources you and your family need this year.